Georgia AG Chris Carr Leads Coalition in Support of Expanding Small Business Healthcare Options

Chris Carr speaks onstage at 'Captain America: Civil War' Atlanta Cast & Filmmakers screening at The Fox Theatre on May 1, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Disney)
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Disney

Georgia attorney general Chris Carr spearheaded a coalition of 14 states this week in applauding Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s efforts to allow small businesses to become eligible to participate in Association Health Plans (AHPs) and urging an expansion of the program to be open to more American small business owners.

“In an uncertain legal and regulatory environment where healthcare costs continue to rise and choices are limited, Americans need more options and predictability for affordable healthcare,” said Attorney General Chris Carr in a statement. “We applaud the Department of Labor’s efforts in seeking to allow eligible small businesses the ability to join together to offer more affordable, quality health insurance for the hardworking employees in our states.”

Nearly half of American workers rely on employer-sponsored health coverage but just 1 in 4 American small business owner are insured. Carr and lawmakers from South Carolina to Nevada to Indiana to Louisiana believe this disparity derives from federal regulations that currently require qualifying AHP members be involved in the daily decision making of the business as well in the same industry.

The group of lawmakers believes broadening the perimeters for small business to be eligible to join AHPs would incentivize small business owners to offer affordable plans to the 11 million small business employees who are currently without healthcare coverage.

Skyrocketing healthcare costs — brought by Obamacare’s costly regulations driving insurance companies out of the marketplace — was the number one concern small business owner wanted President Donald Trump to address last year, according to a survey of 700 small business owners.

In a recent survey of 500 small business owners, conducted by the Roosevelt Opinion Research for the Job Creators Network, found that a majority of small business owners are “very concerned” about the cost of healthcare in 2018.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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