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Contractors say “Phew!” as a health care amendment dies
By Caitlin Coakley Until recently, two words triggered exasperation among many local contractors: Merkley amendment. The various health care bills that floated, collided and stomped through the U.S. Congress included, at various times, that amendment, which would have allowed only a small percentage of contracting firms to escape the requirement to offer health insurance. But in the bill President Obama signed into law, the amendment was absent. “Thank heaven,” said Mark Baldwin, executive vice president of the Homebuilders Association of Charlotte. The amendment would have made a special provision – some would say “penalty” – for contractors.