A new effort in Congress could make health care coverage more accessible for small business owners and their employees.
An estimated 47 million Americans are currently living without health insurance. Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind says even those who can afford coverage are finding it doesn't meet their needs, with quality and access problems plaguing many health plans.
Kind says many of the uninsured are actually working, but their small employers can't afford coverage. He's co-sponsoring legislation that would create the Small Business Owners Health Options Program (SHOP) to help them. Kind says the plan would establish a national purchasing pool to help more people access coverage. He says it would drive down premium prices, as more people enrolled in the program.
Kind says the program would also encourage small businesses to get involved. It would offer tax credits for individuals and businesses. Tax bonuses would also be available for businesses that cover at least 60-percent of the premiums.
The bill has been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate.