Oversight Committee Examines “Small Business Mandates” Limiting Health Insurance Options

Published: Jul 1, 2013

WASHINGTON –House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today announced that he and Subcommittee Chairmen James Lankford, R-Okla., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seeking more information about Obamacare implementation in light of recent “small business mandates,” which limit the ability of small businesses to purchase competitive insurance plans for their employees.

The District of Columbia and Vermont have both passed “small business mandates” requiring organizations of 50 individuals or fewer to purchase insurance through state Exchanges established under Obamacare. The mandates contradict the health care law, which states qualified employers will not be prevented from selecting health plans offered outside of an Exchange.

“[T]he District’s proposal to force individuals and small businesses onto its Exchange is inconsistent with principles of consumer choice and competition, which are vital to a well functioning health insurance market,” the letter states.

“The Oversight and Government Reform Committee has expressed concerns on multiple occasions regarding your Department’s implementation of Obamacare,” the letter continues. “As HHS Secretary, you are responsible for ensuring that states implement Obamacare in accordance with the provisions of the law.  At a minimum, we request that you use your authority to ensure that all Exchanges comply with the provisions in PPACA that ensure that individuals and employers have the freedom to enter into contracts outside of a regulated government-created bureaucracy.”

You can read the letter to Secretary Sebelius here. The Committee also sent related letters to the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority and the Department of Vermont Health Access.