WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 24, 2009 - The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”), issued the following statement after today’s passage of the Senate health care reform bill.
“Although the Big ‘I’ still strongly opposes the current form of the health care reform bill, the Senate Democratic Leadership should be commended for making a number of significant improvements to the bill including the removal of a government-run health insurance plan (‘public option’),” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Should the version of the bill that passed on a party-line vote today ever get signed into law, at least it includes provisions that will ensure independent insurance agents and brokers are able to sell health insurance plans both inside and outside of the newly created health insurance exchanges.”
“It is critical to note that the health care bill the Senate passed today fails to bend the cost curve for health insurance consumers, including millions of small businesspeople,” continues Rusbuldt. “As the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, dated November 30, 2009, points out: under this bill, small businesses will see little to no decrease in their monthly premiums and individuals will see an increase of 10-13%.”
“Health care reform must first and foremost address the rising costs of health insurance,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “For many small businesses, it comes down to laying off a few employees or purchasing health insurance for their workforce. This bill does nothing to shoulder the financial burden on America’s small businesses.”
"As the Senate and House move to conference, the Big ‘I’ urges Congress to reconsider what this bill will do to consumers and small businesses," says Rusbuldt.
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.