The American Rental Association last week announced it fully supports the bipartisan efforts of Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Norm Coleman (R-MN) and their introduction of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
“Access to affordable health care has been a major issue for ARA members for many years,” said ARA President John Crabbe Jr., president of Vermont Tent Co., South Burlington, Vt. “We need to keep moving forward on this issue, and this legislation keeps us moving in the right direction. We commend Senators Durbin, Snowe, Lincoln and Coleman for coming together and presenting a bipartisan solution for the small business health care dilemma.”
SHOP is designed to help small businesses that now employ about 13.5 million workers who are among the nation’s uninsured. The key elements of SHOP are that it would provide small businesses with tax credits to help them afford premium costs; help control costs by offering nationwide plans and creating new risk pools that allow trade associations to act as navigators for their members in the complicated health insurance market; and protect businesses from skyrocketing premium increases by changing the way companies are rated by insurers.
“This is a complex marketplace, and the solutions to the problem of access to affordable health care for small businesses cannot be solved by legislation that does not address these complexities,” said John McClelland, ARA vice president for government affairs. “We have been working on this issue for many years and we have continued to see our members’ health care costs go up and the availability of coverage go down. We need a solution to the health care crisis in small business and commend the sponsors of SHOP, and will work with them to move this bill through the legislative process.”
Headquartered in Moline, Ill., ARA is an international trade organization that supports equipment rental business owners and rental equipment manufacturers and suppliers. ARA is a source for research, information, government affairs, business development tools, education and training, insurance, networking and marketplace opportunities for the equipment rental industry throughout the world.