Addressing a major concern of small-business owners, Reps. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and Calvin Dooley (D-Calif.) have introduced legislation allowing small businesses more power to create group insurance plans. Under the Small Business Health Fairness Act, such companies and the self-employed would be able to band together through trade and professional associations and have insurance companies compete for their business.
For years small-business owners have complained that insurers refuse to offer them insurance policies or when they do, the premiums have been prohibitively high. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao has thrown her support behind the bill, citing concern that 85% of the 41 million uninsured Americans belong to working families. -- by Tony Fong