Snowe Introduces Small Biz Health Care Bill

March 6, 2003 ( - Small businesses searching for ways to reduce health-care costs may want to learn more about Senator Olympia Snowe's (R-Maine) latest proposal.

The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003 is being touted as a plan to give small businesses the same market-based advantages and competitive leverage that large employers and unions enjoy when providing employees health insurance, according to a news media release.

Under Snowe’s bill, small businesses would be able to pool together in nationalAssociation Health Plans (AHP)and either purchase their health insurance from a provider, or self insure in the same way that large employers and unions currently do. Also included in the bill are safeguards for the national AHPs offering protection from fraudulent trade associations peddling coverage they never deliver or claims they are unwilling to pay.

“The bill I am introducing will provide revolutionary changes to the health insurance choices available for small businesses,” said Snowe, Chair of Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “It is a starting point in solving the health-care crisis facing our nation’s employed but uninsured.”

Original co-sponsors joining Snowe include Senator Kit Bond (R-Missouri), Senator Jim Talent (R-Missouri), Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-North Carolina).