Senate unanimously passes Tester’s bipartisan health care bill

(U.S. Senate)-Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Senate unanimously passed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act, his bipartisan bill that gives states greater power to oversee the small group health insurance markets.

“This bill allows Montana’s small employers to spend less on health insurance and more on growing their business. While some folks in Congress continue their efforts to limit the access to affordable health insurance, my bill is proof that collaboration works when folks from across the aisle come together and do what is best for Montana families.”

Currently, the Affordable Care Act allows states to create different markets for providing health insurance coverage to small employers (50 or fewer employees) and for medium sized employers (51-100 employees). Beginning next year, however, all businesses with up to 100 employees will be subject to the same requirements, which could cause premiums to increase by nearly 20 percent for many mid-sized businesses.

The PACE Act is supported by Montana Securities and Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen and the Montana Chamber of Commerce.

“The PACE Act gives states the flexibility to define small group for the purposes of health insurance in a manner that works for each state market,” said Monica J. Lindeen, Montana Insurance Commissioner. “I commend Senator Tester’s work on this act that helps Montana small businesses.”

“This legislation gives states like Montana the freedom to determine the size of our small group markets. It will benefit businesses and employees both,” said Webb Brown, President/CEO of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate Senator Tester and all of the cosponsors for working in a bipartisan way, and doing what is best for Montana businesses.”

The PACE Act, which now heads to the President’s desk, is available HERE.