House passes health plan bill

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Small businesses will be able to buy health care coverage more easily now that the House of Representatives has approved the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 525).

H.R. 525 could "potentially put small businesses on the same footing as large companies, trade unions and the federal government by allowing them to purchase federally regulated premiums through their national trade association," say officials from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), which lobbied in favor of the bill.

"Cost-effective methods for purchasing health plans would translate into stable, affordable premiums."

Nearly 60% of respondents to a recent SEMA survey were small companies that employ as few as 10 workers, say SEMA officials. "Rising health care costs forced 20% of (respondents) to stop providing health care coverage over the last 10 years."

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