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Health insurance bill voted down

5/12/2006 7:45:00 AM

Industrial Distribution staff

The U.S. Senate Thursday defeated a bill that would have allowed associations and other trade groups to extend coverage to small businesses across state lines.

The Senate voted 55 to 43 to stop considering the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2006 which was introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming. The bill would have needed 60 votes to go on to debate for final passage.

“The Senate’s failure to allow an up or down vote on this important health care legislation is an insult to America’s small businesses,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said in a prepared statement.


Association executives from many industries, including wholesale distribution, have been actively pushing for the right to offer health insurance to their members.

Forty-one attorneys general from around the country and other groups had opposed passage of the bill. Others against the measure had argued that it would reduce coverage and allow private health insurers to bypass state regulations regarding state-mandated benefits.

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