H.R. 660 - Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003

COMMITTEE ACTION: REPORTED BY RECORD VOTE of 6-3 on Wednesday, June 18, 2003.
FLOOR ACTION: ADOPTED BY RECORD VOTE OF 224-199, AFTER AGREEING ON THE PREVIOUS QUESTION BY A RECORD VOTE OF 224-198 on Thursday, June 19, 2003.
MANAGERS: DIAZ-BALART/FROST
108th Congress
1st Session

H.R. 660 - Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2003

1. Modified closed 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. Provides that the amendment recommended by the Committee on Education and the Workforce now printed in the bill shall be considered as adopted.

5. Makes in order the amendment printed in the report of the Committee on Rules 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.

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

7. 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. 660) 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 for amendment. The amendment recommended by the Committee on Education and the Workforce now printed in the bill shall be considered as adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any further amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except: (1) one hour of debate on the bill, as amended, equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce; (2) the further amendment 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

(summaries derived from information provided by sponsors)

Kind/Andrews #6
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 to federal employees. Requires employers joining SEHB to contribute at least 50% of premium costs. Employers with fewer than 25 employees shall be eligible for a coverage incentive discount of 5% to employers joining SEHB. Small employers with fewer than 50 employees shall be eligible for a sliding scale premium subsidy for employees earning less than 200% of the poverty level (50% for firms under 10 employees; 35% for firms under 25 employees; and 25% for firms under 50 employees). Employee premiums for employees earning under 200% of the poverty level, adjusted for family size, shall be eligible for 100% subsidies for premium contribution over 5% of salary if not covered by another federal or state health insurance program. Authorizes up to $50 billion for the Department to provide small employer health coverage subsidies in fiscal years 2004-2014 (in accordance with the fiscal year 2004 Budget Resolution


TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT(.pdf)