Sen. Merkley Pushes Small Business Amendment To Health Care Bill

The U.S. Senate’s Health, Labor, and Pensions committee continues its retooling of Senator Ted Kennedy’s health care policy bill.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is concentrating his efforts on an amendment that would allow more small businesses to take part in an insurance exchange.

That’s a system that offers a basic meat-and-potatoes health plan that anyone can buy into, as well as a way for consumers to compare private health plans side-by-side.

Merkley wants to widen access to the exchange from companies with ten employees or fewer to companies with fifty or fewer.

Jeff Merkley: “The number of businesses in Oregon who have 10 to 50 employees is about 24,000, and the number of folks employed by those companies is about a half a million.”