The FINANCIAL — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on October 8 applauded the bipartisan cooperation between Congress and the White House as President Obama signed into law a key change to Obamacare that will ease the financial burden on many small businesses and their employees.
“Small and medium sized businesses and their employees have a reason to celebrate today,” said Bruce Josten, executive vice president for Government Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. “Ensuring that small and mid-sized businesses are protected from the negative impacts of expanding the small group market was one of the Chamber’s top health care priorities, and that was achieved today as a result of bipartisan collaboration between Congress and the White House.”
The new law, known as the “Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act,” halts a looming expansion to what’s known as the small group insurance market under the Affordable Care Act. Starting next year, companies with between 51 and 100 employees would have been required to purchase health plans through the small group market, a market in which all health plans are subject to many expensive new requirements that would have driven up their premiums, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In a letter sent last month to members of the House, the U.S. Chamber noted that nearly two-thirds of companies pushed into the redefined small group market would have suffered premium increases of 18 percent on average. Some would have seen “premium impacts of 35 percent or more.”
“We hope that the PACE Act is a sign of things to come, as there is more to be done,” Josten stated. “We hope Congress and the administration will continue to work together and set aside partisan differences to give businesses the certainty and flexibility they need.”