While President Obama signed the health-care reform legislation into law at a jubilant White House ceremony on March 23, grim-faced Republicans geared up for a battle in the Senate over a “reconciliation” package that amends the bill just signed into law. Riding with that reconciliation measure is the fate of a provision that has divided the construction industry. That provision, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), was in the Senate-passed version of the bill and thus is now law. It requires construction companies with more than five full-time employees and a payroll of $250,000 or more to offer health-care coverage
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.