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Government Relations

Senate Blocks Small-Business Health Plans Bill

May 17, 2006 - The U.S. Senate voted 55-43 last Thursday to invoke cloture on The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2005 (S.1955), which was introduced in November 2005 by Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.). Unfortunately, while the majority of Senators voted in favor of the motion, Senate rules require 60 votes to invoke cloture, which is the parliamentary procedure by which debate is ended and an immediate vote is taken.

More than 450,000 petitions and 40,000 calls and letters urging action on SBHPs were sent to the Senate in the days prior to the vote. NCRA and the Small-Business Health Plan Coalition thank everyone for their support of S. 1955.

NCRA Executive Director and CEO Mark Golden, CAE, said, "We are proud of the way NCRA members stepped up to the challenge and rallied around the Small-Business Health Plans bill. Hundreds of NCRA members answered our call for action and sent letters to their Senators in support of this legislation. NCRA will not give up on this effort to ensure affordable health insurance for all NCRA members."

The SBHP Coalition is considering how to get the legislation back to the Senate floor as quickly as possible. Look for more information in a future Newsflash or on NCRA's Web site.