Making Health Care More Affordable and Accessible for Small Business Owners and Employees

Thanks to its dedication to research and innovation, America’s health care industry is constantly finding new ways to comfort, to heal and to cure.

However, medical breakthroughs often come at a price that hits hardest the most vital part of our economy: small business. Ask any small business owner and they will tell you that the rising cost of health insurance is driving up the cost of doing business. It’s why nearly 17 million Americans who work for a small business or are self-employed don’t have health insurance.

Fortunately, the health care industry isn’t the only one thinking innovatively. Congress can ensure that more workers receive proper health care coverage by making common-sense reforms to Medicaid, health insurance, health savings accounts and the medical-liability laws that allow frivolous lawsuits to sap vital resources from the health care system. As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health, I am committed to enacting these and other important reforms that will help more Americans have access to the world’s best health care system.

We’ve already begun work to make health care more accessible to those who need it most. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation that will help people with pre-existing medical conditions get health insurance.

Often, those with pre-existing conditions can’t get health insurance, or they are forced to pay outrageous prices to obtain coverage. But H.R. 3204, The State High Risk Pool Funding Extension Act, will expand health care coverage to people in Georgia and across the U.S. by helping states use “risk pools” to ease the expenses for those with pre-existing conditions or other high health care expenses.

Risk pools allow eligible individuals to purchase health insurance, pay premiums and receive health coverage through private insurers. This bill will help states that have risk pools to reduce premiums and to expand the number of people covered. States that don’t have risk pools, like Georgia, will get help to start a pool.

Without question, small businesses and the entrepreneurs who run them are the engines that run our economy, and it is my goal to work with my colleagues in Congress to help make health care more affordable and accessible for our small-business owners, their families, and their employees.

The Annual Community Healthcare Conference on Monday, September 26 at Lanier Technical College features Congressman Nathan Deal, Dr. Curtis Florence of Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Northeast Georgia Medical Center

Administrator Jim Gardner, Longstreet Clinic Administrator Mimi Collins, representatives from the Hall County Health Department and others.

Details, 770-532-6206.