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Issa shows displeasure with D.C. small business healthcare mandate

Sun, Jul 7, 2013

Washington, District Of Columbia

House Oversight & Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R – CA 49), in a letter date June 26, 2013, has called on U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to ensure that purchasing insurance from the D.C. and Vermont healthcare exchanges be voluntary for small businesses in both jurisdictions.  Congressman Issa stated that, in his opinion, the mandate that small businesses purchase their employees’ healthcare plans through a government is “inconsistent with the principles of consumer choice and competition, which are vital to a well-functioning health insurance market.”  Issa also goes on to request more information regarding both D.C. and Vermont’s small business mandates in order to ascertain whether both mandates fall outside the parameters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as he believes to be the case.

The D.C. City Council gave its temporary approval to the healthcare exchange in early-June, and further debate regarding the small business mandate is expected before the Council votes on the healthcare exchange’s final approval in the fall.  Healthcare exchange officials have defended their decision by stating that the District’s exchange would be more viable with the mandate because of the District’s small population base.

MDDCCUA will be continually monitoring the debate over the small business mandate and will be advocating on behalf of the interests of credit unions in the District as the debate moves forward.  In the meantime, should you have any questions, please contact Ricardo Pineres (rpineres@mddccua.org).