One of our cover stories this issue concerns the national health care bill’s adverse effect on small businesses in the construction industry.

The bill started as a noble attempt to fix a real problem, but over time that vision has degraded. Today, it exemplifies the very worst of what Congress produces — a piece of legislation laden with pork, excessive regulation and backroom deals for special interests.

No bill needs 2,000 pages. No bill should run counter to the will of the people. No bill should unfairly target small-business owners, an already embattled group that plays a key role in the American economy.

As reported in our story, a number of industry members have banded together to raise their voices against Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley’s amendment in the Senate’s version of the health care bill.

Normally, I’m not the type to write to my member of Congress. It takes a certain amount of effort, and between work and a busy family life my plate is already full. But that kind of passivity has led to bad legislation being passed time and time again.

This week, I intend to contact my representatives and voice opposition to Merkley’s ridiculous amendment to the already bloated health care bill.

But that’s me.

You may not agree with my view on this issue. Or you may be thinking it doesn’t matter anyway because with the recent election of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, the health care bill is going to sink.

Regardless, it’s time for us to take a stand and participate more vigilantly in our democracy.