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Senate fails to move forward on small business health plan legislation.

Legislation permitting small businesses to band together to buy cheaper health insurance was blocked from moving forward in the Senate on May 11 when Republican sponsors failed to win enough Democratic support to continue debate on the The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (S.1955).

The 55-43 vote was short of the 60-vote threshold needed to continue the debate. Two Democrats, Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, broke party ranks and voted with the Republican majority. Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island was the only Republican to oppose moving forward on an up-or-down vote. Backers of the bill had hoped to win over a few Democrats by softening provisions in the bill that had drawn criticism.

This is the first time Small Business Health Plan (SBHP) legislation has been debated on the floor of the Senate, and supporters will continue to work across party lines to find ways to make health insurance more affordable for small businesses.

For more information on S. 1955 or SBHPs, visit www.afsinc.org/Govn/.
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Title Annotation:WASHINGTON ALERT: AFS Government Affairs Representative--Waterman & Assoc., Washington, D.C.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Words:176
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