WASHINGTON (May 12, 2006) — The automotive aftermarket was disappointed at the Senate's failure to invoke cloture and proceed to a vote on the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act.
The bill—which would have allowed small business associations to negotiate across state lines for low-cost health insurance policies for their members—fell five votes short of the 60 needed for cloture.
Supporters of the bill said they were especially disappointed in that they offered many amendments to assuage the objections of opponents. These included an amendment by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, to ensure the federal bill wouldn't pre-empt state mandates for health insurance policy content.
“What we're looking at is election-year politics,” said Stuart Gosswein, director of federal government affairs for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). “One party is trying to stonewall, rather than allowing the other party to pass legislation it can take to the voters.”
It is unclear whether the bill will be reconsidered in the Senate before it adjourns.