Bi-Partisan Retiree Healthcare Protection Legislation Arrives on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC- With earned health care benefits under continuing threat, American retirees would gain further protections under legislation introduced in the U.S. House in May 2017.
The bi-partisan bill, H.R.2578, requires that retirees be informed of a modification or termination of their benefits and creates a legal presumption that earned healthcare benefits cannot be reduced or terminated during retirement. It was introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), ranking member of the House Rules Committee, and Representative Walter Jones (R-NC).
It would help ensure that employment commitments to provide company-funded healthcare that were made to workers in some cases 30-plus years ago would be fulfilled. The legislation is backed by the national advocacy group ProtectSeniors.Org, which was instrumental in getting the bill introduced.
This legislation protects earned benefits, does not increase taxes, and if included in the new healthcare plan, would reduce the cost of any bill that reaches the President’s desk.
U.S. Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25) said, “Our retirees cannot continue to live in fear that the benefits they have earned after decades of work could simply be stripped away at a moment’s notice. Solving this problem and defending our nation’s retirees begins with passing my bill. I will continue to advance this legislation for workers across Monroe County and the nation.”
“When we went to work for our employers, we were asked to work for less pay, take less vacation time and in return, we would receive healthcare benefits during retirement,” said James Casey, president of ProtectSeniors.Org. “We lived up to our end of the deal and cannot reclaim years of service already rendered to our employers and we are now simply asking our former employers to live up to theirs.”
ProtectSeniors.Org Chairman, C. William Jones said, “While Senate Republicans begin re-writing the health care plan to repeal and replace the ACA, an opportunity has arisen for ProtectSeniors.Org to make a case for retirees to be included in the new plan. We believe that if included, H.R. 2578 will lower the cost of the health care plan by making it more difficult for the private sector to shift its financial obligations onto the federal government and put a stop to companies that dump their retirees off their company sponsored healthcare plans.”
ProtectSeniors.Org is a national organization of retirees that represents 450,000 retirees from 392 different companies and 74 different unions, all dedicated to improving post-retirement healthcare policy.