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Healthcare Squeeze

It seems as though we are stuck between Mr. Obama and a hard place! With healthcare reform legislation passed in the House and Senate and off to the committee for reconciliation, 2010 will be a year to be remembered if the reconciled bill is signed into law.

As Congress continues its partisan closed-door debate on healthcare and “let’s make a deal” approach to buying votes, we can be assured that no “sound practical solutions” will be born from this corrupted process. The last vote of 2009 in the House of Representatives narrowly passed the Jobs for Main Street Act. I guess by virtue of the bill’s name, there is no reason to read its content—the name says it all.

With respect to healthcare, there is $41 billion for extended unemployment benefits, $12 billion to extend the health insurance subsidy for people who have lost their jobs, and $23 billion to help states cover Medicaid costs. The opponents of this bill call it the “Son of the Stimulus,” but who am I to say.

We as a nation voted for change and as business owners in the construction industry change is coming one 2-by-4 to the head after another. As small business owners we must band together and make our voices heard to help stop the insanity that is occurring in Washington, D.C. Contact your local representative and make your voice heard. If the New York Jets can make it to the playoffs with a rookie quarterback and a 9-7 win-loss record, then anything is possible.

On an industry note, our association has taken an active roll with cold-formed steel manufacturers and suppliers to work together on improving industry-wide code compliance. At this writing, a meeting is set for mid-January in St. Louis, Mo. Tim Weis of T.J. Weis Contracting, Inc. is taking the lead, and a delegation from the AWCI will attend the meeting. Stay tuned.

In addition to being the 2009–2010 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry, Weber is president of Island Acoustics LLC in Bohemia, N.Y.

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