APR. 3, 2015 • BY JON HURST

For more than a decade since the debate and passage of Chapter 58—or “RomneyCare”—RAM has made it a top priority to seek health insurance marketplace equality and legal fairness for small businesses and their employees. Numerous state reforms created opportunities for that fairness in premiums, including the passage of legislation authorizing small business cooperatives. But a combination of overbearing and preemptive federal rules under the ACA, as well as an explosion of state health insurance mandates have created the most costly and unfair market, and economic stifling environment for small businesses in recent memory. The bottom line is that the employees of small businesses are in effect second class consumers under the law and in the market for health insurance. The unfair levels of cross subsidies, the rising premiums, and the inequality in choices in coverage are little understood, yet are very real and very discriminatory.

RAM’s annual member survey of premiums for 2015 showed an average increase of 11%, and that is on top of an identical 11% increase last year. Those levels of increases simply are not occurring for big business or big government risk pools. No one can convince me that the employees of small businesses are less healthy than those receiving taxpayer supported coverage, or those working for big, self-insured employers. It is time to educate our state and federal leaders to this discrimination and this threat to our small businesses. Small employers compete every day for both customers and employees with big business. It is one thing for government to say small businesses must provide insurance, and their employees must purchase insurance. But to do that and then require far more expensive and extensive coverage than what exists for others means that we have a government rigged system.

Please take a few moments to click here and review the results of our annual survey, and join RAM in educating your state and federal elected officials on this most urgent of cost issues.

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