If passed, the Small Business Health Fairness Act would allow small businesses to work together to purchase health care.

WASHINGTON - The Associated Builders and Contractors again voiced its support for the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005, and praised the House Committee on Small Business for a March 2 hearing on "Prescriptions for Health Care Solutions."

"ABC salutes Chairman Don Manzullo and Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez for calling this important hearing because there is no more crucial issue facing small businesses and employees in our industry today than the need for affordable health care," said Kirk Pickerel, ABC president and CEO. "Chairman Manzullo and ranking member Velazquez recognize that the status quo in the health insurance market simply is not working for America's small businesses and their employees. Association health plans provide a proven way for America's small businesses to gain access to affordable health care."

The Small Business Health Fairness Act would allow small businesses to join together to purchase health care at lower costs through federally certified "association" health plans. The act would regulate the plans under the same set of federally prescribed rules and regulations that currently govern health benefits for large corporations and labor unions.

"The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005 will help to address the health crisis facing nearly 45 million Americans who are currently uninsured, more than 60 percent of whom are employed by small businesses," said Pickerel. "ABC's insurance plan reduced health insurance costs for its members by an average of 20 percent. Similar savings will make a major difference for America's small businesses and their employees, and that is why this legislation is so important."