If the final version of the health care reform bill must resemble more closely what was passed by the Senate, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill say, the House's public option is probably out but the fate of the Senate's special provision targeting construction remains uncertain. Some contractor groups whose workers tend to be unionized are supporting the Senate's special construction industry amendment. After the Senate's approval of a measure that aims to make broad changes in the U.S. health-care system, the focus will turn to negotiations to reconcile the newly passed Senate bill with the version the House cleared in
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.