February 2013

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Page 35 of 59

Health Care You Can't Run and You Can't Hide from Obamacare Audit your current plan, consult with trusted experts, stay informed and strategize; but above all, communicate, communicate, communicate. By William Atkinson Health care has been very much on the minds of AED members for a long time. In fact, well before Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, AED dealers considered health insurance reform among their highest ranked policy priorities. "Our members realized that when you are competing for workers, being able to provide good health insurance benefits for them and their families is important," said Christian Klein, vice president of Government Affairs for AED. What Klein and his colleagues heard from members over and over was that they wanted to provide good health insurance, but it was getting too expensive. "As a result, we began to focus on trying to get some market-based reforms passed, such as tearing down some of the barriers that made it difficult for companies to pool together to purchase insurance across state lines, so that AED and other organizations could provide health insurance for members on a national basis," he continued. But the health care reform debate took a turn for the worse after Obama's election to the White House, says Klein, and headed in a direction that most AED members did not favor. "We received universally negative feedback from them on what was happening with Obamacare," he said. "There was a strong sense that, rather than pursuing the marketbased reforms that we were talking about, the president and Congress basically 'threw us to the wolves' – the wolves being the insurance companies." For example, for the (continued on page 36) 34 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | February 2013 34_Obamacare_Feature_KP.indd 34 1/30/13 3:12 PM

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