Associations Focus: NSCA Supports Congressional Decision
Sep 1, 2005 12:00 PM
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 525, the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005, which authorizes the formation and operation of federally certified association health plans (AHPs). The AHP bill, sponsored by Reps. Sam Johnson, R-Texas; John Boehner, R-Ohio; Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y.; Albert Wynn, D-Md.; and 135 additional co-sponsors, prevailed on a vote of 263-165 on July 26, 2005. The final tally included 36 Democrats joining 227 Republicans to pass the measure supported by the Bush administration.
“Today's action by the House, while only the first step, shows how important this legislation is to the survival of our nations' small businesses,” says Chuck Wilson, executive director of the NSCA. “It is now the Senate's turn to look at the solid bipartisan vote achieved in the House and vote to send the AHP bill to the president.”
The Department of Labor estimates that more than 60 percent of the 33 million adults and 11 million children without health insurance are small-business owners, employees, or families of such individuals. Passing H.R. 525 would allow for AHPs and save the typical small-business owner between 15 percent and 30 percent on health insurance.
“NSCA member companies, like other smaller employers across the country, are drowning in today's health insurance marketplace,” says NSCA President Randy Vaughan. “Allowing small businesses to pool their resources and purchase health insurance through association health plans will help lower the cost of health care and level the playing field between Wall Street's corporations and main street's small businesses.”
The Senate version of the legislation, S.406, currently sits in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee, where a hearing was held earlier this year. S.406 is sponsored by U.S. Senators Christopher Bond, R-Mo.; Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; and Jim Talent, R-Mo.
FALL BUSINESS CONFERENCE PLANS FINALIZED
NCSA's Fall Business Conference will be held Nov. 3-5, at the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort in Tucson, Ariz. The two-and-a-half-day event is designed for business owners and managers in the commercial electronic systems industry and offers essential training and networking opportunities. The NSCA would like to thank all 19 sponsors for their participation in this important industry event.
NSCA LAUNCHES CONSULTANT REFERRAL PROGRAM
The NSCA is excited to announce the introduction of its Consultant Referral Program, a scholarship-based initiative to ensure significant growth in the number of certified industry professionals. The program allows consultants to provide their valued contractor partners with the opportunity to receive C-SI or C-EST certification. These certifications are unique as they are tailored specifically for systems installers and technicians.
To participate, simply provide NSCA with the name of the contracting firm that you believe has proven skill and competencies in the industry. NSCA will inform them of your referral and provide one free assessment. Based on their scores, NSCA will then provide a free training and CSI or EST exam — a combined savings of up to $647 for your contracting partner!
Mark Your Calendar
Certification for Albany Candidates:
September 16 - EST Training Series
September 9 - C-SI Online Review
October 10 - C-SI One-Day
October 10-11 - C-EST Two-Day Review
October 11 - C-SI Exam*
October 12 - C-EST Exam*
*Application Deadline - September 20
Certification for Detroit Candidates:
September 16 - C-EST Online Review
October 14 - C-SI Online Review
November 14 - C-SI One-Day Review
November 14-15 - C-EST Two-Day
November 15 - C-SI Exam*
November 16 - C-EST Exam*
*Application Deadline - October 25
Certification for Dallas Candidates:
September 30 - C-EST Online
November 4 - C-SI Online Review
December 1 - C-SI One-Day Review
December 1-2 - C-EST Two-Day Review
December 2 - C-SI Exam
December 3 - C-EST Exam*
*Application Deadline - November 11