H.R. 525 - Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005

COMMITTEE ACTION: REPORTED BY VOICE VOTE on Monday, July 25, 2005.
FLOOR ACTION: ADOPTED BY VOICE VOTE ON July 26, 2005
MANAGERS: BISHOP(UT)/MATSUI
109th Congress
1st Session

 

H. RES. 379
[Report No. 109-183]

H.R.525 - Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005

1. Structured rule.

2. Provides one hour of debate in the House equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

3. Waives all points of order against consideration of the bill.

4. Makes in order the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the Rules Committee report accompanying the resolution, if offered by Representative Kind of Wisconsin or his designee, which shall be considered as read, and shall be separately debatable for one hour equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent.

5. Waives all points of order against the amendment printed in the report.

6. Provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

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RESOLUTION

Resolved, That upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order without intervention of any point of order to consider in the House the bill (H.R. 525) to amend title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to improve access and choice for entrepreneurs with small businesses with respect to medical care for their employees. The bill shall be considered as read. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate on the bill equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce; (2) the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution, if offered by Representative Kind of Wisconsin or his designee, which shall be in order without intervention of any point of order, shall be considered as read, and shall be separately debatable for one hour equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent; and (3) one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT
MADE IN ORDER UNDER THE RULE

(summary derived from information provided by sponsors)

Kind/Andrews #4
Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute. Requires the Department of Labor to establish a Small Employer Health Benefits Plan (SEHB) similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHB). Requires the Secretary to widely disseminate information about SEHB through the media, internet, public service announcements, and other employer and employee directed communications. All employers with fewer than 100 employees during the previous calendar year shall be eligible to apply for coverage under SEHB. Employers must offer coverage to all employees who have completed 3 months of service. Employees working fewer than 30 hours a week are eligible for pro rata coverage. Requires the Secretary to establish an initial open enrollment period and thereafter an annual enrollment period. Requires the Department of Labor to annually contract with state licensed health insurers to offer health insurance coverage in a state. Participating insurers shall remain subject to state laws applicable to the states in which they cover residents. Requires all participating insurers to offer benefits equivalent to or greater than the options offered under the four largest FEHB health plans. Provides that employers are eligible for premium assistance for employees earning below 200% of the poverty level: employers with fewer than 11 employees are eligible for assistance of 50% of premiums; employers with 11-25 employees are eligible for assistance of 35% of premiums; employers with 26-50 employees are eligible for assistance of 25% of premiums. Provides that employees earning less than 200% of poverty are eligible for assistance for premiums above 5% of family income. (One hour)

TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT


1.) Kind/Andrews #4