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The Associated General Contractors of America | Quality People. Quality Projects.
www.agc.orgDecember 22, 2009
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On the Inside
LEGISLATIVE
Senate Passes Health Care Bill, Includes Harmful Amendment
House Passes “Jobs” Bill with Infrastructure Funding
Highway and Transit Program Extension
Florida Representative Introduces Permanent Depreciation Bill
House Democrats Introduce Immigration Reform Bill
SIMONSON SAYS
Warm Spots Poke Through Frozen Construction Landscape
ENVIRONMENT
New Initiatives Aimed at Restricting Runoff from Construction Sites
Resolutions Introduced to Reverse U.S. EPA’s Endangerment Finding
SURVEY
AGC Survey Will Create 2010 Hiring and Business Forecast
AGC NEWS
Only North Dakota Sees Annual Increase in Construction Jobs
AGC Calls on CARB to Rethink New Retrofit Requirements as Industry and Economy Cut Emissions
AGC Members Give Back for the Holidays
California's Construction Unemployment Rate Highlights Nation's Plight
More Layoffs Possible Without Action on Highway Bill
CONSENSUSDOCS
FREE Podcast from ConsensusDOCS
BUILDING
Building Contractors: AGC Is Working for You
MEETINGS & EVENTS
Hotel Deadline Extended to Dec 31 for Winter 2010 BIMForum
Early-Bird Discount Ends Dec 30 for January Building Contractors Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico
AGC's 91st Annual Convention & Pavilion | March 17-20 in Orlando, Florida
Build Your Project Management Skills with AGC’s Project Management Course
ONLINE TRAINING: HAZWOPER 8-, 24- and 40-Hour Programs
BOOKSTORE
Electrical Safety for the Construction Worker DVD
 
LEGISLATIVE
Senate Passes Health Care Bill, Includes Harmful Amendment
 

AGC today issued a statement in response to an amendment included in the Senate health care bill that singles out small construction firms for harsher treatment than any other industry. On December 21, the Senate voted 60-40 on the first of a series of votes that will allow passage of its health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, by 7pm on December 24. Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) announced Saturday that he would support the package, allowing the democrats to reach the critical 60 votes needed to pass its plan. The House and Senate will conference the bill in January with the goal of reaching a final package before the president’s State of the Union address.

Issues of Concern to AGC

The new provision forces construction firms employing as few as five workers to pay health care coverage fees, despite the fact that employers with fewer than 50 workers that do not offer coverage are exempt from fines that apply to larger employers.

In addition, the Senate proposal fails to reduce health care costs to employers or the federal government. The employer mandate and its per employee fee placed on firms offering coverage is also a concern, as well as the new Medicare payroll tax, new burdensome corporate reporting requirements, the lack of any meaningful medical liability reform, the lack of a waiting periods (30 day period with penalties afterward) and a failure of the bill to reduce premiums for employers.

Public Support for Bill Wanes

The more that the bill is debated the more unpopular it gets. A new WSJ/NBC News poll shows 44 percent of Americans say status quo is better than passing current proposal compared with 41 percent of Americans who said it's better to pass the plan. In early October, 45 percent of respondents preferred passing a bill, while 39 percent preferred passing no bill. Uninsured people were among those who've grown less supportive of the plan. Also, 32 percent think the President’s plan is a good idea vs. 47 percent that think it’s a bad idea. A new poll by Rasmussen shows 58 percent of Floridians opposed to current reform proposal. The Democrats are even losing their base. The politically powerful Service Employees International Union backed out of a Wednesday news conference at which it and other groups -- including the AARP -- planned to promote the bill.

Read coverage of the harmful amendment here.

For more information, contact Jim Young at (202) 547-0133 or youngj@agc.org. Return to Top

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