Retirees Concerns with Healthcare Reform Act
March 22, 2011
By Paul Miller, Executive Director, Protect Seniors. Org
“March 17 marks the first anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as more and more American retirees find themselves in greater jeopardy since this legislation was signed to law. The law did nothing to protect the earned post retirement health care benefits that an estimated 14.3 million American receive through their former employers, although these benefits were earned by employees accepting less in total compensation throughout their working years.
The devil is in the details, as the new healthcare law actually gives companies an incentive to discontinue certain retiree benefits. This is because a tax provision in the law no longer allows companies to deduct subsidies for healthcare coverage from their balance sheets. This is expected to have the practical effect of encouraging companies to drop retiree prescription benefit programs, thereby dumping millions of seniors into Medicare prescription drug benefit programs.
Retirees are asking that Congress pass quickly and that President Obama sign, the soon to be introduced Retiree Healthcare Benefits Protection Act to prohibit employers from making cuts to post retirement healthcare plans after the person has retired. This would prevent this burden from being shouldered by taxpayers, while allowing corporate America live up to their responsibilities.
Older Americans have skid marks on their backs from being run down by the healthcare reform bus. The hurt from this attack on our retirement security was displayed at the voting booth in the November 2010 Elections and has yet to heal. Congress and the President must fix this before it’s too late.”
Protect Seniors. Org represents 14.3 million retirees from 392 different companies, 45 labor union locals, 98 municipal, state and federal retiree groups and 16 associations: