NAR Gears Up for Health Care Reform

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

The National Association of REALTORS® could be contacting members this summer as Congress seeks to revamp health care coverage for Americans. NAR supports what’s known as the SHOP (Small business owners Health Options Program) Bill, which would enable small business owners and self-employed individuals to band together across state lines to negotiate affordable health insurance.

NAR Deputy Chief Lobbyist Jamie Gregory sat down with REALTOR® magazine last week to talk about what REALTORS® can expect as Congress starts debating legislation. Gregory notes that the elements of SHOP have to fit into the larger health reform legislation that’s currently under discussion. The main sticking point is what’s known as the public plan option. This is where the government fills in the gaps left by private insurance providers. We’ll be carefully watching–and reporting–how this plays out.

Watch the inteview with Gregory to find out more information.

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at

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  1. Susan Thomas

    I hope they get somewhere with this. More than that I need to be following this closely. My husbands insurance was cancelled within his company. I was diagnosed with terminal sarcoma cancer and had to go on the TX Health Risk so that there would be no lapse of coverage. There are no other options out there. It is very costly. What do people do that have no money????? Something must give soon. OBTW for you folks out there that haven’t had to deal with this. There is no such thing as a COBRA plan when a company just wipes out insurance all together.

  2. My take on the “Health Care Reform” efforts is pretty much against all of the proposals. I will just ask, “why is it OK to insist our neighbors pay our bills?” For health insurance, or anything else.

    All government redistribution programs distort, disrupt, and eventually currupt any market or area they get involved in. Want some real estate examples? How about the compassionate ‘Section 8’ housing assistance program? Government taxes everone, including the landlords that are receiving the rents, and gives it to people to pay rents they cannot afford. This drives up rental prices artificially, and prevents the reciepient from ever achieving a better outcome on their own, in many cases.

    I have to ask, where will this stop? Will the government start subsidising car insurance? Homeowners insurance? How about the car, in th einterest of equalizing mobility?

    Just because I am sick, does not mean my doctors should not get paid for treating me, nor should my next door neighbor be forced, by government power, to give up his freedom (That’s what money represents, you know) to cover my shortage or prevent my financial ruin. Those are MY problems, and no one else’s.

  3. Lynne

    All government subsidies come at a cost, usually financial as well as loss of freedoms such as the freedom to choose your policy type, Doctor, treatments and tests. I am sadden by our representatives enjoying more power than the people.
    I lived in Europe, had the social medecine system. In order to take a sick day, you must go to the Doctor and get a written statement for how long you can be out. When you receive sick days you are not allowed to leave your home before 8am and after 5pm every day. I had a back injury and was out for 9 months. I could not leave my home for 9 months to have dinner or anything else ater 5pm. Nothing short of house arrest!!! If you are caught out of your home, the fine is loss of coverage for life. As their coverage is levied in other forms of taxes, you still have to pay for it. The Obama system is to be enforced by the IRS? I am feeling very sad today. We lost our freedoms and have given up on the very reasons our ancestors left Europe to set up a better system!

  4. Gary

    I am absolutely shocked at the number of Americans dissing health care reform in this country. Clearly Americans don’t know what’s good for them. You don’t hear many of those lucky enough to live in countries that have socialized medicine complaining about it. Sure, taxes may be higher, but you don’t get something for nothing in this world, and sooner or later, everyone gets sick and needs access to good, affordable, quality health care. As a Canadian expat, it is my hope that citizens will rally around the Democrats for achieving something so many great Presidents have tried to accomplish. Now the Obama administration can focus on jobs. What will the Republican Party complain about next?

  5. Linette

    It is our right in this country to agree or disagree with what is going on with our government and that is a wonderful freedom. I never in my 60 years thought that I would also see people threatening our Senators and Congressman because they don’t like what just happened. I happen to be one of the many people who look forward to having more affordable health care. My question to those who don’t agree (which includes every Republican ??? I find that hard to believe). Where is your solution to this huge problem. All I hear is whining, no solutions.
    At least now that we have a beginning, our representatives, Republican and Democrats alike, can refine the system based on what their constituents recommend.

  6. Mary Williams

    Section 8 worked for four(4) families that I had the honor of assisting in the purchase of their first homes. Through the Section 8 program they worked with a Housing Board employee to work on their credit worthiness and completed a home buying class. These are 4 of many Section 8 families that are now living the American Dream of home ownership.
    I don’t know about you but that sounds like a winner to me. Without this program many families would never have been able to realize that dream.
    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water!!!
    Oh by the way that home buying class was taught by members of the real estate, mortgage, inspection, etc community that volunteered their time to help improve the lives of their fellow Americans. Again, Win, Win!

  7. Cyndy Ponczek

    We need healthcare reform but having the government taking it over is not what I would like. The insurance companies are probably all jumping for joy because they know we will all now be forced to have insurance. Here in NJ it is very expensive for an individual to purchase insurance. For the past 3 years my monthly insurance premium has gone up $100 a month each year! I can’t afford not to have insurance. If I were able to purchase health insurance through NAR, I’m sure it would be more afforadable.

  8. Keith Kirkwood

    Cindy,I feel your pain,but government controlled health care isn’t the answer.Tort reform is a good start and setting limits on lawsuits amounts would be a start.what is needed is the cooperation of all parties involved.We have the best health care on the planet.Do you see anyone heading abroad for an operation? Have you ever see the government bring any work in on time or on budget?Seek the truth.The price will double, the quality of care will be lousey, care will be rationed…….I promise!

  9. mike

    If this is allowed to stand… there will be massive economic dislocations. Massive civll unrest, massive repression. It is no secret what it takes to . Google it! Life as we knew it in our youth is gone. Google . These are very short and easy to read and understand. We are well on our way. In my humble opinion we are past the point of no return.
    We baby-boomers need to congratulate ourselves. In one generation we have destroyed a legacy of unparalleled freedom unmatched in human history, all because of not fighting against the destruction of those freedoms by “progressive idealogues” (pi’s) that started the destruction by incremental destruction of the education systems. Result? The great majority have no idea of our history and founding principles. And had no idea what their government leaders have been doing to them… Subsidizing sending the production (national lifeblood)outa the country. Jeesh!! If the influence of multi-national corps upon a fed. legislature did not scare the holy heck outa you, you have lost the ability to care, and have essentially lost the test of life, I’m really afraid for you, my beautiful America, the LAND that I love. Jesus, have mercy on our children and grandchildren. They don’t deserve what we’ve set up to do to them. But then, why not blame the children for the dumn a– parents they chose!?!? That is what it seems we have all done.
    In the past century it took only 8 countries, led by pi’s to murder over 100 million of their own citizens. Only first after disarming them. I know, I know! after all It’s only human life! What the heck!… I hope I’m just one of the first arrested… I smell it coming! … I learned my history…

  10. mike

    omitted in the above diatribe were the quotes “moving from an open to a closed society.” And blueprint for dictatorship.”