WASHINGTON (STL.News) – National Association of Realtors® President John Smaby issued the following statement after Eugene Scalia was sworn in as the next Labor Department Secretary on Monday afternoon.
“The more than 1.3 million members of the National Association of Realtors® congratulate Mr. Scalia on becoming the 28th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor,” said Smaby, a second-generation Realtor® from Edina, Minnesota. “NAR has worked closely with the DOL on various issues over recent years, most notably to protect America’s independent contractor workforce and defend the department’s Association Health Plan rule. We look forward to continuing that collaboration with Secretary Scalia throughout his time leading the Department.”
In August of this year, NAR CEO Bob Goldberg, along with eight other association executives, met with then-Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella to discuss issues impacting America’s real estate industry. In the meeting, Goldberg emphasized NAR’s support for AHPs and for DOL’s ongoing legal battle to defend the rule.
“Realtors® should not be denied affordable, high-quality health insurance options just because they operate as independent contractors or as small businesses of one,” Goldberg said after the meeting. “In states that have already begun offering AHPs to independent contractors, Realtor® health plans have proven to be just as comprehensive as those offered under Affordable Care Act marketplaces while producing cost savings of 25% to 50% for our members.
To date, over 3,000 Realtors® and their families have found cost-effective health insurance solutions through AHPs currently operated by a handful of local Realtor® associations across the country. Countless additional associations are also exploring AHP options but have been delayed due to uncertainty surrounding the federal litigation.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.