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Action Alert: Health Care Legislation Scheduled for Vote on Sunday, March 21

March 19, 2010

The House is moving toward a vote on health care reform legislation that may be held on Sunday, March 21. If approved, the bill will be sent to President Obama to be signed into law. NRCA strongly opposes the current health care reform bill and urges members to contact their House representatives this weekend to register opposition to this legislation.

NRCA believes health care reform that truly controls rising health care costs is urgently needed. However, NRCA opposes health care reform legislation in its current form because it vastly increases government mandates and taxes, fails to "bend the cost curve down" on health care spending and creates a new $1 trillion entitlement program that will exacerbate the federal government's already alarming debt.

Additionally, the Senate-passed bill (H.R. 3950) unfairly singles out employers in the construction industry by excluding them from a key small-business exemption. The bill exempts all employers, except those in the construction industry, with fewer than 50 employees from the requirement to provide government-approved health care benefits to employees or pay a penalty. Under H.R. 3950, the "employer mandate" will apply to any construction employer with five or more employees. A "reconciliation" bill (H.R. 4872) that will be considered along with H.R. 3950 may modify the "construction industry exclusion," as NRCA has advocated, but it is uncertain whether H.R. 4872 will be approved later by the Senate.

NRCA has sent several letters to Congress reiterating strong opposition to the current health care reform legislation while noting support for reform that truly controls costs. Now, we need your help in letting House members know of your concerns.

Contact your House representative and urge him or her to oppose H.R. 3950 because:
  • It imposes hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes that will be passed on to employers and workers, as well as a new multibillion annual tax that will fall almost entirely on small businesses that purchase coverage in the fully insured market.

  • It unfairly mandates that all construction employers with five or more employees provide expensive "government-approved" health care benefits to employees or pay a $2,000 per employee penalty if they cannot afford to do so. For all other employers, the threshold for the "employer mandate" is 50 or more employees.

  • Although it contains some helpful insurance market reforms, it does little to help many small businesses gain access to affordable health care benefits because it fundamentally fails to address the underlying problem of rising health care costs.

  • It contains a huge expansion of government entitlement programs, which will further exacerbate the already alarming growth of the federal deficit.

  • It fails to contain meaningful medical liability reform to curb frivolous lawsuits that are one of the biggest drivers of rising health care costs.
If you have questions, please contact Duane Musser, NRCA's vice president of government relations, at (202) 546-7584 or dmusser@nrca.net. Thank you!

Target List of Undecided House Democrats for H.R. 3950

John Adler (D-N.J.)
Michael Arcuri (D-N.Y.)
Brian Baird (D-Wash.)
Marion Berry (D-Ark.)
Rick Boucher (D-Va.)
Travis Childers (D-Miss.)
Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.)
Mike McMahon (D-N.Y.)
Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)
Ike Skelton (D-Mo.)
Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.)
Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)
Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.)
Paul Hodes (D-N.H.)
Betsey Markey (D-Colo.)
Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.)
Tom Perriello (D-Va.)
Adam Smith (D-Wash.)
Zack Space (D-Ohio)
Glenn Ney (D-Va.)
John Barrow (D-Ga.)
Dan Boren (D-Okla.)
Bobby Bright (D-Ala.)
Ben Chandler (D-Ky.)
Artur Davis (D-Ala.)
Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.)
Chet Edwards (D-Texas)
Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.)
Tim Holden (D-Pa.)
Larry Kissell (D-N.C.)
Frank Kratovil (D-Md.)
Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)
Jim Marshall (D-Ga.)
Jim Matheson (D-Utah)
Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.)
Charlie Melancon (D-La.)
Walt Minnick (D-Idaho)
Mike Ross (D-Ark.)
Heath Schuler (D-N.C.)
Gene Taylor (D-Miss.)
Harry Teague (D-N.M.)
Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.)
Jason Altmire (D-Pa.)
John Boccieri (D-Ohio)
Alan Boyd (D-Fla.)
Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.)
Chris Carney (D-Pa.)
Baron Hill (D-Ind.)
Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.)
Dan Maffei (D-N.Y.)
Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.)
Bill Owens (D-N.Y.)
Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.)
Nick Rahall (D-W.V.)
John Tanner (D-Tenn.)
Dina Titus (D-Nev.)
John Salazar (D-Colo.)
Melissa Bean (D-Ill.)
Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)
Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)
Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.)
Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio)
Jerry Costello (D-Ill.)
Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.)
Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Steve Driehaus (D-Ohio)

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