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U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Expand Access to Healthcare Through Small Business Health Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to expand the opportunity to offer employment-based health insurance to small businesses through Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans.

As proposed, the rule would:

  • Allow employers to form a Small Business Health Plan on the basis of geography or industry. A plan could serve employers in a state, city, county, or a multi-state metro area, or it could serve all the businesses in a particular industry nationwide;
  • Allow sole proprietors to join Small Business Health Plans, clearing a path to access health insurance for the millions of uninsured Americans who are sole proprietors or the family of sole proprietors.

The NPRM will be published in the Federal Register on Jan. 5, 2018, and be available for public comment for 60 days. For more information, click here.

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OSHA Solicits Public Comment on Servicing Multi-Piece and Single Piece Rim Wheels

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently soliciting public comments concerning its proposal to extend the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) approval of the information collection requirements specified in the Standard on Servicing Multi-Piece and Single Piece Rim Wheels. The paperwork provisions of the Standard includes a requirement that the manufacturer or a Registered Professional Engineer certify that repaired restraining devices and barriers meet the strength requirements specified in the Standard and a requirement that defective wheels and wheel components be marked or tagged.

For more information, click here.

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U.S. House Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing on Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards for Motor Vehicles

Today, the Subcommittee on Environment and the Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection held a joint hearing entitled “Update on the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program (CAFE) and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Motor Vehicles. Witnesses included:

Mr. Mitch Bainwol 
President and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Mr. John Bozzella 
President and CEO, Global Automakers

Dr. Dave Cooke 
Senior Vehicles Analyst, Clean Vehicles Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Mr. Forrest McConnell III 
President, McConnell Honda & Acura, on behalf of The National Automobile Dealers Association

In his opening statement, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) stated, “We want to know how these different regulatory schemes impact consumers, and learn more about better ways to ensure the federal fuel economy standards are met, without creating unnecessary paperwork or administrative burdens that serve only to drive up costs for American families. As currently constructed, it has been estimated that these programs will raise the average price of a new vehicle by almost $3,000 – that is no small amount and one that will undoubtedly price many Americans out of the new car market. Although the goals of these varying programs are important, we must never forget that we do in Washington has a real impact on consumers across the country.”

To watch the full hearing, please click here.

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