In a press release, the National Association of Manufacturers (12/9) said the latest NAM/IndustryWeek “Survey of Manufacturers shows that skyrocketing health care costs and the troubled implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have created a significant and harmful level of uncertainty for manufacturers in the” US. The survey found that more “than 77 percent of manufacturers identified rising health care and insurance costs as their most important challenge.” The survey also found that more “than 90 percent of manufacturers stated their health insurance premiums had increased, and a significant portion have had to increase employee copays (58.6 percent), reduce coverage (27.7 percent) and/or change insurance providers (17.6 percent) to lower their costs.”
In IndustryWeek (12/10, Beaulieu) Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for NAM, wrote that the ACA and the accompanying uncertainties “have placed a roadblock in manufacturers’ efforts to” grow. About one-third of manufacturers said they had reduced their outlook for next year. In addition, 23 percent “had reduced employment or stopped hiring.” Also, 20 percent reduced their business investment.
The Hill (12/10, Hattem) “Regwatch” blog reported Aric Newhouse, NAM’s Senior Vice President of Policy and Government relations, said in a statement, “Costs and uncertainty are up, and manufacturers’ optimism is down thanks to the healthcare reform law.”
The Daily Caller (12/10, May) reports Newhouse said, “The health care law has weighed heavily on manufacturers all year long – and their concerns are not going away. It is standing in the way of manufacturing growth by seriously limiting investment and job creation.”
NADCA Comments on PM2.5 Air Quality Regulations
The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) submitted formal comments to several state governments about pending air quality control regulations. The U.S. EPA is working on its 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM2.5) Naional Ambient Air Quality Standards which will impact every manufacturing business in the country. Under EPA guidelines, in December 2013 states must submit their recommendations to the federal government about which areas they should designate as attaining the required air quality control levels.
If a region receives a nonattainment designation, the government can place significant restrictions on economic activity. Regulators will impose additional conditions on manufacturing facility expansion, new equipment purchases, and new facility construction. These restrictions will not only hurt manufacturing in America but restrict job growth and economic development in areas designated as nonattainment zones.
NADCA President Dan Twarog in a letter to state policymakers said, “NADCA believes that state governments should do all they can to foster an environment which encourages manufacturing in America, not erect self-imposed barriers.”
NADCA submitted comments to Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, asking their state regulators not to restrict manufacturing activity by recommending a nonattainment designation for areas within their boundaries. Several have already indicated they will submit NADCA’s comments to the EPA along with their state’s recommendations. While NADCA typically focusses its efforts on lobbying the federal government, the Association took the extraordinary step of weighing in with state regulators on such an important issue.
Upcoming NADCA Webinars
Attending a webinar is an excellent way to obtain vital information without the hassle or cost of travel. This 60-minute presentation will not only address important information on the topic but also provide adequate time for questions, answers, and discussion.