Michael Cacioppo
Vail, CO, Colorado

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December 15, 2012
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Vail Daily letter: No, no mistake

Because I actually try to have a life, I don't have time to always immediately respond to readers of the Vail Daily who write letters trying to indicate that I wrote something wrong.

John Bryant, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, incorrectly wrote: "His example of the business with 30 employees does not make any sense. The Affordable Care Act does not require businesses with 30 employees to provide health insurance. The threshold for required coverage is 50 employees."

According to heritage.org, in an article titled, "Unions using Obamacare to punish small business," and I quote: "A small provision slipped into the bill at the last minute changes that threshold for the construction industry. Now, any construction company with five or more workers would have to pay the ($750 per person) fine. With a few paragraphs in a 2,074 page bill, the Senate gutted the small business exemption for construction companies. Construction workers have borne the brunt of the recession with the collapse of the housing bubble, accounting for 1.5 of the 7 million jobs lost since December 2007. Now the health care bill forces a heavy regulatory burden on small construction business.

"Why would the Senate kick small construction contractors when they are down? Special interests - why else? Construction unions hate the competition from small, mostly non-union contractors. The health care bill will make providing 'qualifying' health care coverage significantly more expensive. It forbids lifetime limits on coverage, and requires insurers to cover children on their parent's plans until they are 25.

"Unions estimate these provisions will raise the cost of health coverage by an additional $1,000 a year (per person). They do not want the law to allow small businesses to provide less generous health benefits and then under-bid them for construction jobs. They want small business to work with the same expensive regulations and taxes they do.

"Of course, these regulations and taxes burden small businesses more heavily because they have less money to pay for them. Instead of getting more generous benefits, many workers at small construction companies will lose both their jobs and their health benefits. That this fact did not stop the union movement, should not surprise anyone.

"Unions are cartels - they attempt to raise their members' earnings by restricting competition. Unions can only win above-market wages when they can prevent nonunion workers from competing against them for jobs. By using the law to shackle their small business competitors, the union movement can prevent them from winning bids for projects. That is great for unions - but not for the small-business employees. Normally, Congress would stand up for small business employees.

"But the labor movement is no ordinary special interest. Unions spent hundreds of millions of dollars to elect Obama and the current liberal Congress. So when construction unions asked the Senate to kneecap their small competitors, Majority Leader Reid was happy to comply."

We all occasionally make mistakes. Of course, a 2,000-plus page bill is, by design, set up to keep most, except Philadelphia lawyers, from reading it all.

By design, we will all be learning the hard way all of the restrictions on our freedom in this bill. And it will take years for most to understand it.

As former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stupidly said, "We have to pass the bill to find out what's in it," or words to that effect.

I'm not perfect. I do make mistakes. But what Mr. Bryant alleged does not appear to be one of them. I don't make stuff up!

Of course, the Daily adding "Hater" in the letter's headline seemed, by design, to make me look like one.

Oh well. Fortunately, I have broad shoulders, as my mother used to say. I offer forgiveness to Mr. Bryant and the Daily.

Michael Cacioppo


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The VailDaily Updated Dec 15, 2012 11:19AM Published Dec 15, 2012 11:18AM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.