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Landmark Health Care Bill Splits Industry

Publication Date: 12/30/2009
Author: Tom Ichniowski and Pam Hunter
Format: HTML

The construction industry is divided over the landmark health care bill approved by the Senate on Dec. 24, primarily because of a provision that would require small construction industry employers to provide health insurance to employees. Employer groups like the Associated General Contractors and the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) say the measure would stifle growth and make it harder for small businesses to survive, particularly during difficult economic times. Labor unions, on the other hand, say the provision, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), fixes a loophole that would have exempted most of the construction industry—largely made up of small firms—from being required to provide coverage.

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