ADVOCACY UPDATE FROM NAHB.ORG
In a rush to pass a massive health care overhaul before Christmas, Senate Democrats have included a last-minute provision targeting the construction industry that is certain to derail the fragile housing recovery and threaten the solvency of countless small home building firms.
In order to find the 60 votes needed to pass health care reform, a provision was slipped into the health care bill that unfairly targets small construction industry firms by mandating that they provide health insurance if they employ more than five workers. That is the same mandate required for big businesses. Meanwhile, all other small businesses – with the exception of the construction industry — would be exempt from providing mandatory health coverage if they employ 50 workers or less.
“This narrow provision is an unprecedented assault on the construction industry and unjustly targets an industry trying to keep its doors open during the worst housing downturn since the Great Depression,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. “If this provision were to be enacted into law, it would prove to be catastrophic for the home building industry. In short, this is a true jobs killer. Thousands of small builder firms struggling to stay afloat could go under. We strongly urge the Senate to reconsider and pull this onerous provision that threatens the viability of small home builders across the nation.”
Because the legislation passed in the Senate on Christmas Eve with this provision, experts say the only opportunity to address this provision would be in the House – Senate Conference Negotiations. See information below to contact our Congressional delegation regarding the need to remove this provision during these negotiations:
Congressman Roy Blunt
2740-B East Sunshine
Springfield, Missouri 65804
(417) 889-4915 Fax
Congressman Ike Skelton
2206 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515