AAMA Joins Coalition Opposing Health Care Bill

November 24, 2009

The American Architectural Manufacturers Association has joined Start Over!–a national coalition working to defeat health care reform legislation currently under review in the U.S. Senate.

"We need health care legislation that focuses on reducing costs. We want Congress to start over and get health care reform right," says Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO. As part of its efforts, AAMA has provided its members with contact information to reach their legislators, including thanking those in Congress who voted no.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, another coalition member, the Medicaid provisions included in the bill would mean that states will be forced to make drastic budget cuts or increase taxes on businesses and individuals. NAM estimates the legislation will raise taxes by $493 billion.

According to NAM, the new legislation would impact small businesses organized as "S" corporations with a new surtax on wage income, an excise tax on health insurance plans, and additional fees would apply for other specific industries. "The bill also falls short in its lack of any meaningful limits on medical liability," says Walker. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also limits the use of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and includes a government-run public option that will further shift costs onto private insurance, raising costs for employers, he points out.

"We believe that the proposed legislation places heavier demands on both small business owners and large employers with increased regulations, taxes and associated costs," Walker states. "Many of these companies already are struggling in the economic downturn. We expect this legislation would deeply and negatively affect our members' future, which directly affects their employees' health and welfare."

AAMA has partnered with the following industry associations in the Start Over! coalition:

  • Associated Builders & Contractors
  • Associated General Contractors
  • Independent Electrical Contractors
  • International Foodservice Distributors Association
  • International Franchise Association
  • National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
  • National Retail Federation
  • Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce

"Together, we are urging Congress to remedy the current bill and pass health care reform legislation that truly reduces costs," Walker emphasizes. "We need to alleviate the weight carried by private purchasers and employers that sponsor health insurance coverage for their employees, not add to their burden."