Dear Rep. Labrador:
Here is a chance for Republicans to both deregulate the economy AND make it easier for low-income working people to get health insurance at reasonable rates. I am an adjunct instructor at College of Western Idaho. Adjuncts get no health insurance as an employee benefit because we are part-timers. Because teaching the next generation is so important to our society, adjuncts are very poorly paid, and many cannot afford to purchase health insurance at the individual health insurance policy rate.
Many of the adjuncts would love to have some way to purchase group health insurance, which would be substantially cheaper than individual policies. For this reason, the College looked into the possibility of organizing an insurance plan for the adjuncts, one that would be paid for completely by the adjuncts, since the College cannot afford to pay anything towards a health insurance plan. The College discovered that there is a federal law that actually PROHIBITS this. Any group health insurance plan offered by an employer must be at least half paid by the employer.
For employers with a poorly paid workforce, this effectively prohibits the employer from offering health insurance--even if the employees would be willing, even eager, to pay the costs themselves. This is a problem not just for colleges, but for all the other employers of low-paid workers: restaurants; agribusiness; independent retail stores.
Here is an opportunity for Republicans to demonstrate the superiority of laissez-faire economics, and what a joke Obamacare was (which did not create this situation, but did not fix it, either). Think of the number of your constituents who cannot buy group health insurance through their employers because of this law, and are either forced to pay the higher individual rates, or go without coverage at all. Please: try and get this fixed. Otherwise, Republicans are just playing into the Democrats' hands concerning single-payer health insurance.
Very Truly Yours,
Clayton E. Cramer