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The Associated General Contractors of America | Quality People. Quality Projects.
www.agc.orgNovember 10, 2009
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On the Inside
HEALTH CARE
House Passes Health Care Bill, Debate Moves to Senate
New Ad Shows Real Cost of Health Care Reform
RECOVERY
House, Senate Pass Expansion of Home Buyer Tax Credit, Net Operating Loss Carryback
TRANSPORTATION
Senate Defers Action on Highway Extension; Auto Execs Suggest Higher Gas Tax
New Video Ad Shows How Poor Road Conditions Cost Lives
TCC Sponsors Upcoming Transportation Event
WATER
T&I Committee Reviews Recovery Act Progress
MEMBERSHIP
Fax Solicitation Not Affiliated with AGC of America
AGC NEWS
Construction Unemployment Surges to 18.7 Percent
Latest Figures Show Double Digit Drops in Spending
Stimulus-Funded Projects Save and Add Jobs for Construction Workers
CONVENTION
Share Your Favorite Convention Memory
ENVIRONMENT
EPA Announces Plans to Regulate Post-Construction Stormwater Runoff, Requests Comment on Draft Industry Survey to Inform Rulemaking
Senate Environment Committee Bypasses Republicans, Approves Cap and Trade Bill
EPA Proposes to Extend Federal Construction Stormwater Permit, Plans for Introduction of New Discharge Limits Upon Reissuance
MEETINGS & EVENTS
Safety & Health Committee Meeting
AGC's 2010 Meetings on Surety Bonding and Construction Risk Management
EDUCATION
Donít Miss Two Stimulus At Work - Federal Contracting Webinars
AGC's Construction Project Manager Course in Dallas
"Stress Testing" the Family or Closely Held Construction Company Webinar
Introducing the ConsensusDOCS 310: From Beginning to the Industry's First Green Building Addendum
The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts: The Ins and Outs of Federal Prevailing Wage Law
BOOKSTORE: Highway Worker Safety Program Package
CONSENSUSDOCS
Federal Government Improves Contracting Practices with New Bulletin
ConsensusDOCS 310 Green Building Addendum Now Available
SPECIALTY
Specialty Contractors Council Releases Retainage Guidance
LABOR
DOL Cancels Manchester Job Corps Center Project Solicitation Amid PLA Concerns Raised by AGC
2009 Open-Shop Craft Wage Increases Expected to be Lowest in Over 15 Years
AWARDS
Deadline Approaching for Construction Safety Excellence Awards
CHAPTER NEWS
AGC New Mexico Building Chapterís Vicki Mora Earns Statewide Recognition
Cianbro Co-Founder Bud Cianchette Passes Away
 
HEALTH CARE
House Passes Health Care Bill, Debate Moves to Senate
Thousands of AGC members respond to call to action
 

On Saturday night the House passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act 220 to 215 (click here to view how your members voted) along party lines with 39 Democrats opposing and one Republican supporting.

The debate now shifts to the Senate where Majority Leader Harry Reid is getting Presidential pressure to wrap up the debate before Christmas and Reid may force the Senate to work Saturdays in December to debate the bill. However, there is still no final bill in the Senate and Senator Reid will not have a Congressional Budget Office cost estimate of his latest draft version of health care reform until the end of this week.  With the close House vote, the Senate will be more deliberate and methodical in its approach than the House. Senate moderates who represent states where House members opposed the bill will now feel a tremendous amount of pressure from their constituents, which creates one more hurdle Senate Democratic leaders have to overcome in order to convince already skittish moderates to support reform.

Senate targets are the senators from the following states: Arkansas, Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska and Virginia. For more information on proposed health care reform, visit AGC’s Health Care Web site.

AGC opposed the $1 trillion “Affordable Health Care for America Act,” because it failed to address the root cause of rising costs, will likely eliminate competition and restricts economic growth with punitive penalties for employers. AGC members answered the call to action last week by sending over 4,000 letters to Congress in less than 24 hours in opposition to the bill. This response brings this year’s efforts to over 8,000 individual messages. As the debate shifts to the Senate, AGC of America will again be calling on Chapters and members to advocate for affordable, quality health care through broader coverage, choice and competition in the marketplace.

Key provisions of the House bill include:
• Employers will be subjected to an 8 percent payroll tax for each employee that does not receive coverage from the employer, even if the employer offers adequate benefits – as determined by a government entity – but the employee chooses to enter a government plan.

• Mandated expansive coverage and the existence of the public plan in the legislation will likely eliminate much of the nations’ private insurance. It is not feasible that the government can be both regulator and participant in the health care system.

• The $1 trillion bill will be financed by $460 billion in new taxes and $500 billion in future Medicare cuts. The new taxes include a surtax for individuals with income above $500,000. This tax will be especially harsh for businesses structured as pass through entities where the business taxes are paid by the individual company owners, making it more difficult for the employer to operate the business and create or even retain jobs.

• The punitive business taxes and new and future mandates on insurance coverage will fail to lower the costs of purchasing health care and could stifle economic growth at a time when the industry is already suffering unemployment that is nearly double the national average.

For more information, please contact Jeff Shoaf at (202) 547-3350 or shoafj@agc.org.



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