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Dealer groups oppose health-care bill, but manufacturers are mum

November 16, 2010

As the Senate considers the $1.1 trillion health care bill passed by the House, lobbyists for car dealers and those for auto workers are lining up on opposite sides while automakers sit out the debate for now.

The National Automobile Dealers Association and American International Automobile Dealers Association reportedly have joined a small-business coalition to oppose the bill. The 58-group coalition cites the legislation’s requirements that employers provide coverage and the measure’s imposition of a tax penalty on employers that don’t.

AIADA Chairman Russ Darrow said the bill "includes employer mandates that will hurt both employers and employees, high surtaxes and a public option that would be funded on the backs of small businesses."

The groups also criticized tax credits for coverage provided by businesses with 25 or fewer employees, saying the credits would have "limited value."

The bill passed the House on Nov. 7 by a 220-215 vote. It likely faces greater challenges in the Senate. President Barack Obama wants to sign legislation by year’s end.