ABC Calls President Obama's Health Care Reforms a 'Step in the Wrong Direction'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) said President Obama's health care reforms are a "step in the wrong direction" for their lack of free-market solutions that will improve the quality and lower the costs of health insurance. In a speech to a joint session of Congress, the president reiterated his support for a not-for-profit public option and a mandate on businesses to either provide health insurance to workers or pay fines or payroll taxes.

"On behalf of America's commercial and industrial construction contractors, we believe that creating a new, government-run health insurance plan and mandating a 'pay or play' provision on business owners, is a step in the wrong direction," said ABC President and CEO Kirk Pickerel. "We are eager to work with Congress to reform the health care system with free-market solutions because consumers are better off when there is a choice and competition.

"We believe genuine health care reform must include association health plans for small businesses and their employees, tax credits to help low-income workers buy insurance, expanding health savings accounts, medical liability reform that will reduce health care costs and ensuring patients have the doctors and care they need, and improving information technology to prevent medical errors and needless costs," said Pickerel.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association with 79 chapters representing 25,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms with two million employees. To find out more about ABC, visit