WASHINGTON (July 13, 2005) — Ten automotive aftermarket associations have sent an open letter to the U.S. Senate, urging passage of legislation allowing the establishment of Association Health Plans.
The 10 groups include the Tire Industry Association, the Specialty Market Equipment Association, the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association and the Automotive Service Association.
Association Health Plans, or AHPs, are programs under which small-business associations could pool their members to negotiate for low-cost health insurance coverage across state lines. The House of Representatives has approved AHP legislation seven times since 1995, the associations noted, but the Senate has never done so.
“Skyrocketing health care costs have made it difficult for our organizations' members—which are predominantly small businesses—to offer quality health care coverage to their workers,” the associations wrote. “As a result, millions of hardworking Americans and their families are entering the ranks of the uninsured.”
The House is expected to vote on its AHP bill once again in late July, and is virtually certain to pass it, the associations said.