Obama signs law to prevent premium increases for smaller companies under his health care law

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has signed legislation aimed at preventing premium increases that some smaller businesses were expecting next year under his signature health care law.

The White House says Obama signed the bill into law Wednesday. It represents an uncommon instance in which both parties rallied behind an effort to revamp part of the Affordable Care Act.

Under Obama's health care law, companies considered small businesses must offer certain required benefits. Business groups had complained that many employers' health care costs would increase.

Previously, small businesses were defined as those having up to 50 employees. But that number was set to expand to 100 on January 1.

The new law keeps the small business definition at 50 workers but allows states to increase the number if they choose.

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