The Small Business Health Fairness Act has successfully passed the House of Representatives and is now pending in the Senate. With health insurance premiums increasing at alarming rates, Western Growers Association reminds that small businesses need new options that will help them to keep health insurance affordable for working families.

The Small Business Health Fairness Act will accomplish this goal by allowing Association Health Plans (AHPs) to utilize the same tools that corporate and union health plans use to keep coverage affordable. This legislation will provide small business, via AHPs, with greater bargaining power and administrative efficiencies, the option of self-funding, and greater flexibility to design benefit options that meet the needs of small employers.

WGA notes it is only fair that the small and medium-sized businesses have the same opportunities to operate health plans in order to provide health care benefits to their employees that Congress has already granted to large corporations and labor unions.

This legislation has previously stayed in the Senate without any action. This year it may be more viable because of the support of the Bush administration.