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Don’t tell Henry Waxman: Ski resorts worried about Demcare costs

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 29, 2010 02:26 PM

Last week, Henry Witch Hunt Waxman went after large companies that have issued public statements about the massive, anticipated hits they’ll take as a result of the Demcare mandates.

You can read the “invitation” letters Waxman fired off to the CEOs of Deere & Company, Caterpillar Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., and AT&T at the House Energy and Committee website here.

Power Line has a good overview of Waxman’s vindictive campaign here.

Now comes news that ski resorts here in my state of Colorado are girding their loins for the Demcare hit (hat tip – Complete Colorado):

The Steamboat Pilot on Wednesday quoted worried officials from the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. to the effect that the health-care measure approved three days earlier could cost them $2 million a year starting in 2014. The story said the ski industry has a huge number of uninsured seasonal employees who work enough to qualify for full-time benefits.

There is some concern in the industry, said Jennifer Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA, which has 22 members statewide.

“But (the legislation) was no surprise, and we’ve been in constant conversation with our members,” Rudolph said. “It will stay on our radar while we figure out what it all means.”

Dave Byrd, director of education and risk at the National Ski Areas Association, was more emphatic.

“This is a serious, serious issue,” Byrd said. “We’re all scrambling to make heads and tails of it.”

The legislation, which calls for a $2,000 per employee fine for failure to insure full-time workers (30 hours or more a week), offers half-hearted exemption for seasonal workers, but it’s not enough, Byrd said. There are too many unresolved issues, he said. Ski resorts are a lifeline, providing employment in job-poor rural areas and at a time when work is scarce, Byrd said.

Shhhh. Careful not to speak too loudly. Your “invitation” from Waxman the Taxman may soon be in the mail…

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