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Health bill's potential costs worry some small builders

The Tennessean, December 24, 2009

Coming off a year in which his remodeling and custom home-building company saw two-thirds less business and had to lay off nearly half its employees, David Crane hopes next year brings an economic turnaround. But Crane worries about how much part of the health reform bill might cost him and other contractors. The Senate legislation requires construction firms with at least five full-time workers and annual payrolls of more than $250,000 to offer health insurance coverage to employees or face fines up to $750 per employee per year. Crane Builders employs seven people, and the company had expected to be exempt from the requirement just like many other types of small businesses that only face the requirements if they had at least 50 full-time workers during the previous year.