Newsline

MCAA Speaks Out on Health Care Reform

August 17, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

ROCKVILLE, Md. - As Congress takes a summer break, the heat is rising over the health care reform debate. The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) President Lonnie Coleman and United Association (UA) General President Bill Hite sent a joint letter to Congressional leaders to state the concerns of small business owners who employ union workers.

Of vital interest to MCAA small businesses that provide employee health benefits as opposed to competitors that do not pay comparable benefits: Signatory contractors will continue to be pressed to provide those benefits while subsidizing the system with higher premiums to pay for uncompensated care of those uncovered workers and their families. Another issue of concern is the taxation of benefits contributions as income to workers, again putting competitive pressure on the industry’s wage and benefits negotiations where pension funding increases and potentially taxable income increases will undermine the competitiveness of union signatory employers.

Proposals in the Senate would exempt employers with fewer than 25 workers from mandatory coverage provisions. In the House, the exemption is based on total payroll: those with $500,000 or less would be exempt from mandatory insurance coverage for their employees; those with between $500,000 and $750,000 would incur a reduced penalty for uncovered employees; and those with $750,000 or more in total payroll would have to pay an 8 percent penalty for not providing employee health care coverage. The Commerce Department’s Census of the Construction Industry reports that 90 percent (641,374) of the 710,307 U.S. construction industry businesses in 2002 had fewer than 20 employees and 84 percent have less than $500,000 in total payroll.

According to the MCAA, “The proposed 8 percent of payroll penalty for those firms not providing benefits also falls woefully short of maintaining prevailing industry standards in the construction industry, where union-signatory employers overall pay fully 21.5 percent of payroll for health and welfare benefits nationwide ($6.70/hour on a $31.11/hour average wage). In many urban and other high health care cost areas, the per hour contribution for health benefits is considerably more. In New York City, for example, the specialty construction employer health and welfare contributions top $13/hour.”

Publication date: 08/17/2009

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

2014 MCAA Annual Convention

Scenes from the 2014 MCAA Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Podcasts

NEWSmakers: Julian Scadden

Training is an ongoing process. Julian will discuss how you can generate maximum return on time and energy invested training by following a three part process. Listen to this podcast to get expert tips on training, tracking and follow up. 

More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

ACHRNEWS

NEWS 04-14-14 cover

2014 April 14

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

SERVICE CALLS POLL

Which statement on service calls best applies to your business?
View Results Poll Archive

HVACR INDUSTRY STORE

plumbing-hvac.gif
2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

 

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

DON'T MISS A THING

Magazine image
 
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.

STAY CONNECTED

facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con