Skip to content

President Obama Signs Shaheen’s Bill Into Law to Improve Health Care Reform Law for Small & Mid-Size Businesses

Measure Is a Bipartisan Change to The Affordable Care Act

Washington, DC – Last night President Barack Obama signed into law U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) bipartisan bill, introduced with Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), to protect America’s small and mid-size businesses from potential healthcare premium increases under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act passed the House and Senate last week.

“Granite Staters want to see Democrats and Republicans working together for the good of New Hampshire and the country,” said Shaheen. “The Affordable Care Act represents real progress for the tens of thousands of people in New Hampshire who now have access to health care, but it is not perfect and was always going to require some adjustments during implementation. This legislation makes a helpful change to the law for small and mid-size businesses by limiting potential premium increases and letting the states determine what’s best for their market. I’m very pleased that, in this instance, Congress rose above the partisan squabbling to make this improvement to the health care reform bill and I hope it’s a good omen for further cooperation.”

The definition of the state-based small group markets was scheduled to change under the ACA from employers with up to 50 employees to include employers with up to 100 employees on January 1, 2016. This change would require many small and mid-sized businesses to be subject to different rating rules and requirements, with the potential of increasing the health insurance premiums for small businesses, their employees, and their families. With the PACE Act now signed into law, states will have the flexibility to determine whether to keep small group market sizes the same or to update them.

The PACE Act is backed by a coalition representing small and mid-sized businesses, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, the National Restaurant Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, and has bipartisan support from state regulators and health policy experts.