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Insurance and business groups want an early Christmas present from Congress: passing a bill intended to help small businesses avoid hefty fines over healthcare.

Nearly 30 groups, including influential business lobbies such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business, urged House and Senate leadership on Friday to take up a bill that would eliminate a fine for employers who give their workers money for getting their own healthcare coverage.

"If Congress fails to act soon, employees across the country could ring in the new year without financial healthcare assistance from their employers," said Joel White, president of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, a coalition of insurers and businesses.

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