All Americans should note that they are witnessing the almost total eradication of an industry. If the Senate Health Care Plan becomes law, the home building industry and with it, the economic recovery, are both history.
While the recession in which we are all embroiled has been difficult on all Americans, the sectors which have been particularly hard hit have been small businesses and home builders. Like most home builders, I fall into both of these categories. The last two years as a home builder have been a beat down. Although there are no precise statistics, by some accounts as many as 70% of the home builders in the country will have gone bankrupt or out of business, which is not surprising in an industry where business is down 75% in two years.
During the last two years, home builders have had to work with lenders who no longer loan money, investors who have rightfully become fearful and impatient, vendors and subcontractors who might not show up for work because they too might be out of business tomorrow, and a marketplace in search of a pound of flesh with every transaction. I say all of this, not to elicit sympathy, but as a lead in to what will likely be the straw that breaks the rest of our worn home builder backs.
In their unprecedented rush to pass a massive health care overhaul, Senate Democrats included a little-publicized provision which specifically targets those of us in the construction industry. It threatens the solvency of countless home builders and is certain to derail the fragile housing recovery; and an overall economic recovery with it.
In addition to coercing, arm twisting and flat out vote buying to find the 60 votes needed to pass the massive health care reform bill, Senate Democrats slipped a provision into the bill that unfairly requires home builders to provide health insurance to all employees if they employ as few as five workers, the same mandate being imposed on Fortune 500 companies. Not so, for all other small businesses. With the exception of the construction industry, small businesses do not face this requirement unless they employ at least 50 workers.
The legislation being unilaterally advanced by the Democrats will prove catastrophic for many – if not most – of the home builders who are still standing. To put it more succinctly, this legislation is a home builder and jobs killer. And, if that happens, it is an economic recovery killer, as well.
For all who read this article, please join me, contact your Congressman and Senators and encourage them to do the right thing and stand against the health care legislation. We the people really can’t afford any more of their help.