This week I co-sponsored the Emergency Retiree Health Benefits Protection Act of 2009. The bill is an effort to protect the 18.5 million retirees in America who earned health care benefits in retirement during their working years. Having access to those health benefits are vital to our retiree who live on fixed incomes. Altering or taking away those health benefits is devastating to the quality of life of our seniors. I’m working to stop these unfair cuts, because retiree health care benefits must be protected by law.

Specifically, H.R. 1322 [pdf here]:

  • Prohibits profitable plan sponsors from canceling or reducing promised retiree health benefits;

  • Establishes an enforceable obligation to restore promised health benefits previously taken away from retirees;

  • Creates an “Emergency Retiree Health Loan Guarantee Program” to assist with the obligation to restore retiree health benefits.

Through the years, millions of workers have retired believing that they would be provided with quality and affordable health care benefits that were promised by their employer. Our retirees earned those benefits through hard work and loyalty. It’s time for us to protect seniors who worked hard so that they could enjoy retirement by guaranteeing their health benefits.