Builders Say Senate Bill Unfairly Targets Construction Industry

December 26, 2009

The National Association of Home Builders says the health care bill passed before Christmas by the Senate features a last-minute provision that unfairly targets the construction industry.  According to NAHB, the bill mandates that small construction industry firms provide health insurance, or pay penalities, 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," says Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla., and NAHB chairman. "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."