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CLINTON HEALTH PLAN POSES UNIQUE PROBLEMS FOR CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYERS, SAYS ASSOCIATED BUILDERS AND CONTRACTORS

 WASHINGTON, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- President Clinton's health care plan, which requires that every employer provide uniform benefits, would "create an administrative nightmare for construction employers whose work force changes dramatically from season to season and contract to contract," according to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
 In testimony before a House Ways and Means subcommittee, Ed Reeve, senior vice president of TDMechanical in Dallas, said that the mandate provision is unworkable for construction employers. "The employer would either have to pay for benefits during times when there was no work or cancel and then reinstate employees at the beginning and completion of each job," Reeve said. He added that construction employers must be allowed to tailor their programs to best fit their needs. For example, ABC offers its member firms benefits which range from the traditional fee for service programs to Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) or Point of Service programs, as well as Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).
 Reeve also expressed concern over a provision which would require all health care policies to be purchased through state-established quasi-governmental entities known as "health care alliances." The administration's plan would prohibit association health care plans and other voluntary pooling arrangements which, according to Reeve, provided the opportunity for small businesses to pool their resources and to negotiate the best benefits from competing insurers. "This is probably the best example of why we think the president's plan is more managed than competitive."
 He added: "If the president's program is going to win approval, it must be willing to recognize and accommodate those firms and organizations which are already doing a good job in providing health care coverage and in containing premium costs."
 Reeve pointed out that the majority of open shop construction employers are already providing health insurance to their employers. He cited a study by the Personnel Administrative Services which shows that among open shop firms with less than $500,000 in revenue -- which would constitute a small firm -- 73 percent provide benefits for their employees. That figure increases proportionately with the individual company's dollar volume of work. For firms that perform $3 million to $6 million in work -- average sized -- 90 percent provide health care benefits.
 ABC is a national construction association representing 16,000 open shop construction and construction-related firms in 80 chapters across the United States.
 -0- 11/4/93
 /CONTACT: Dick Haas or Mike Henderson of the Associated Builders and Contractors, 703-812-2000/


CO: Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: CST HEA INS SU: LEG EXE

DT-IH -- DC027 -- 0725 11/04/93 12:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 4, 1993
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