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News from U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe
Chair, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
For Immediate Release: February 8, 2006
Contact: Chris Chichester, 202-228-5843

Snowe: SBHPs Will Reduce Ranks of 46 Million Uninsured
Applauds President’s Leadership Today in New Hampshire

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, applauded President Bush’s focus on Association Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts for small businesses in New Hampshire today and called for Congress to pass legislation that provides them with affordable health insurance:

“As Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I applaud the president’s leadership in addressing the foremost concern of small businesses today - health care. We agree that the cost of health insurance is the the number one issue facing small businesses across the country and must be addressed now. Our country possesses the most sophisticated medical and pharmaceutical technologies in the world, and yet, health insurance is out of reach for many small businesses.

“The time has come for the Senate to recognize that small businesses in Maine, New Hampshire, and all across the country are desperate for change. I look forward to working closely with the Bush Administration and other Members of Congress to ensure that AHP legislation receives a long-awaited vote this year. They are an opportunity to drastically shrink the ranks of America’s nearly 46 million uninsured, without significantly expanding the health care bureaucracy or increasing federal spending. This is a national crisis which will only deepen if Congress does not act.”

Last year, Senator Snowe introduced S. 406, the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005. The bill mirrors the House version of Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation, which last year the House of Representatives passed overwhelmingly, 263-165. This was the eighth time the House has passed such a bill. Small Business Health Plans represent a fair, fiscally sound, and tested approach that provide small businesses with the freedom to offer the same health insurance and savings options currently available to employees of large companies and government agencies.


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