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letters | Tackling the price of health care

Next step in health reform: Ease cost crunch for small businesses

A recent editorial called on lawmakers to use the fourth anniversary of health reform’s passage as an excuse “to work, always, to make the system better” (“Obamacare at 4: A plus, with more changes needed,” April 8). Their first priority should be to make insurance more affordable for small businesses.

A February report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that premiums would rise for two-thirds of small-business workers — roughly 11 million Americans. Premiums are expected to increase by as much as $160 per person this year.

One reason for these price increases is the federal health care law’s annual $8 billion fee on health insurance policies. Carriers will have to pass this added expense on to employers and, consequently, their workers. Repealing these fees assessed on insurers could save families nearly $500 a year in premium increases.

Small firms need relief from skyrocketing health care costs. Lawmakers must find a way to provide it to them.

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Janet Trautwein
Executive vice president and CEO
National Association
of Health Underwriters
Washington