A leading senatorial figure recently introduced legislation that could shape what insurance customers will look like over the next several years.
Along with Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, Orrin Hatch, Utah's senior senator and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, recently introduced the American Job Protection Act. The thrust of the bill would no longer compel business owners who employ more than 50 people to provide health insurance for them, nor would they be required to pay as much as $3,000 for every worker of theirs should they refuse to abide by the mandate.
Hatch indicated that given today's tenuous economy, the employer mandate doesn't make sense.
"The employer mandate is a drag on our economy, forcing too many of our nation's job creators to stop hiring and grow their businesses in order to comply with this onerous provision in President's health law," said Hatch. "Instead of letting the federal government dictate how employers should allocate resources, lets repeal this job-killing mandate and let businesses get back in the business of hiring."
A companion bill has also been introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Reps. Charles Boustany of Louisiana and John Barrow of Georgia.
For insurance agents curious of whether this bill will garner the votes it needs to pass, all indications suggest it doesn't have the support. According to Govtrack.us, the legislation has a 9 percent chance of making it out of committee and a mere 1 percent chance of being signed into law by President Barack Obama, who helped enact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010. While it garnered the votes it needed to move through Congress, not a single Republican voted for it in either the House or Senate.