A group that opposes the “association health plan bill” says the majority of U.S. small business employees oppose the concept of exempting small group health plans from state regulation.

The Coalition to Protect Access to Affordable Health Insurance has sponsored a recent survey of 401 U.S. residents who work for businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Researchers asked participants about provisions of S. 1955, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., would create a system of insured, multistate association health plans for small businesses. The AHPs would be regulated by the insurer’s home state.

In addition to creating a small group AHP system, the current version of S. 1955 also could create a nationally regulated health insurance system.

Researchers found that 80% of all survey participants and 82% of participants ages 18 to 34 opposed the idea of letting plans charge older workers higher premiums, according to Zogby International, Utica, N.Y., according to the affordable health insurance coalition.

About 70% of participants said the cost of health care should be spread evenly across employees, regardless of their age, occupation or medical history, and 61% said they disapproved of exempting small business health plans or health insurers from state health care consumer protection regulations, Zogby says.

Zogby identified the affordable health insurance coalition as a group that “includes a group of not-for-profit health plan providers.”