Thursday, June 17, 2010
On Dec. 22, 2009, NARI learned that Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) sponsored an amendment in the Senate version of the health care bill officially entitled, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (H.R. 3590). This amendment mandates remodeling and construction business owners to provide health insurance coverage for more than five employees, while all other small business owners, outside of the construction industry, would be required to provide health insurance coverage for 50 or more employees. On Dec. 24, the Senate passed the bill with the inclusion of this amendment.
NARI polled its members, and 96% of the members expressed strong opposition to this amendment. During the House and Senate reconciliation process on the health care bill, NARINARI members answered full force! In addition, leaders of the Oregon Remodelers Association/NARI were asked to personally visit Senator Merkley’s office to advise how this amendment would impact their businesses. issued several calls to action, asking its members to fax their senators and representatives as well as leaders in both the House and the Senate.
The final health care bill did not include the Merkley Amendment, thanks to NARI’s efforts in conjunction to several other associations whose members took action. However, NARI is monitoring whether a separate bill will be introduced using the wording of Merkley’s Amendment.