Portman Urges Extension of Key Tax Credit to Help Delphi Retirees Maintain Affordable Health Coverage

Sen. Portman
 

Push Comes at Crucial Finance Committee Hearing

Washington, D.C. – January 16, 2014, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a member of the Senate Committee on Finance, urged Committee members to extend the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), an issue of particular importance to Delphi Retirees struggling to maintain affordable healthcare.
Today’s comments follow a December Finance Committee hearing where Portman introduced a bipartisan amendment at the Committee’s mark-up of health legislation to extend the HCTC for two years.  After debate on Portman’s amendment, which was cosponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Portman secured a commitment from the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee to work toward extending the HCTC when Congress renews Trade Adjustment Assistance this year.  This was the first commitment from Senate leaders to work toward extending the HCTC, which expired on January 1, 2014.

Sen. Donnelly Supports Bill to Extend and Expand Tax Credit

Sen. Donnelly
 
On Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) joined the cosponsors of Senate Bill S. 1446, the Health Care Coverage for Displaced Workers Act, legislation that would expand and permanently extend the Health Coverage Tax Credit that is available to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) pension and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) recipients. ~ “I’m proud to cosponsor this bill that would help American workers, such as Delphi’s salaried retirees, to afford healthcare coverage after they’ve lost their job through no fault of their own,” said Donnelly.  Sen. Donnelly release  | 2013-08-03 Sen. Brown Introduces Bill

Sen. Portman: New Year Brings New Concerns for Delphi Retirees

Sen. Portman
 
In his weekly column on January 10, 2014, Senator Rob Portman (OH) again highlights the ongoing issues facing Delphi salaried retirees facing both pension reductions and the increased cost of health care insurance with the loss of HCTC.
Senator Portman's Weekly Column
Across the country, Americans are celebrating the promise of a new year. But for 20,000 families of Delphi salaried retirees that lost their pensions in 2009 because of the actions of the Obama Administration, their new year is starting out under a cloud.
In the summer of 2009, as the government took GM into bankruptcy, the Obama Administration terminated thousands of Delphi salaried retirees and their pensions. These 20,000 salaried retirees, ranging from shop-floor supervisors and salespeople to engineers and office managers, spent many years at Delphi, a major employer and economic engine in towns across Ohio from the Mahoning Valley to the Miami Valley. They earned their pensions the American way, through hard work and dedication. Because of one political decision, all that hard work vanished into thin air.
Now many of these families are struggling to make ends meet. Like so many Americans who continue to face challenges in this difficult economy, they have very little margin in their budgets for unexpected expenses. Many Delphi retirees and their families depend on the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) to secure affordable health insurance. The HCTC was designed to help people who have experienced job loss and who, like former Delphi employees, have had their defined benefit pension plans taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Often the HCTC serves as an important bridge for older Americans until they become eligible for Medicare benefits, covering 72.5 percent of their costs. But on January 1, 2014, that tax credit expired.

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Joint letter to President Obama by 19 Senators and Representatives

Turner (OH)
Ryan (OH)
Cochran (MS)
Brown (OH)
 
Wicker (MS)
Portman (OH)
Joyce (OH)
Brooks (IN)
 
Tiberi (OH)
Harper (MS)
O'Rourke (TX)
Kildee (MI)
 
Chabot (OH)
Stivers (OH)
Johnson (OH)
Kelly (PA)
 
Bentivolio (MI)
Collins (NY)
Messer (IN)
 
 
         
A joint letter was sent September 30 to President Obama from 19 bipartisan senators and house representatives asking the President for his personal review of the Delphi salaried retirees' pension decisions in the light of the recent congressional hearings and new information that has been exposed.
The letter was signed by Rep. Mike Turner (OH), Rep. Tim Ryan (OH), Sen. Thad Cochran (MS), Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH), Sen. Roger Wicker (MS), Sen. Rob Portman (OH), Rep. David Joyce (OH), Rep. Susan Brooks (IN), Rep. Pat Tiberi (OH), Rep. Gregg Harper (MS), Rep. Beto O'Rourke (TX), Rep. Dan Kildee (MI), Rep. Steve Chabot (OH), Rep. Steve Stivers (OH), Rep. Bill Johnson (OH), Rep. Mike Kelly (PA), Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (MI), Rep. Chris Collins (NY), and Rep. Luke Messer (IN).
We appreciate this incredible show of bicameral, bipartisan support - our thanks to all those who came together to support Delphi salaried retirees!
We look forward to the President's response and solution!