News Releases

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Isakson Fights to Let Small Businesses Keep Their Health Care Plans
Votes to Overturn Administration Rule That Would Force Many Businesses to Give Up Current Health Plans

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today voted to overturn a new health care rule by the administration that would force many small businesses to give up the health insurance plans many of their employees need and want to keep. Isakson was disappointed the resolution to overturn the administration's rule failed by a vote of 40-59.

"This rule clearly violates President Obama's promise to Americans that 'If you like what you have, you can keep it.' This administration is doing everything it can to put a government bureaucrat between a patient and his doctor," Isakson said. "Small businesses make up the heart of the American economy, and we should be enacting policies that strengthen and stabilize our economy, not ones that increase the cost of doing business."

Under the new health care law, a provision was included to spare small businesses already providing health insurance to their employees many of higher costs and new mandates included in the new law. These "grandfathered plans" were designed to let individuals and employers who like their current coverage to keep that coverage.

However, the Obama administration has published an interim final rule that establishes regulations that employers must comply with, if they want their health plans to remain exempt from many of the new mandates in the law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that up to 80 percent of small businesses could lose their grandfathered status by 2013 under the new regulations. Isakson believes the regulations are too narrow and will lead to too many employers losing their right to keep their current plans.

S.J.Res.39 would have undone this rule under the procedures created by the Congressional Review Act of 1996. This law allows Congress to disapprove of regulatory rules issued by federal agencies by enacting a joint resolution of disapproval. To revoke the rule, the resolution must be passed by both chambers of Congress and signed by the President.

Among the business groups that oppose the grandfathered health plan regulation and supported passage of S.J.Res.39 were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Association of Health Underwriters, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, the Coalition for Affordable Health Coverage and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.