Ohio lawmakers call for health coverage tax credit extension

Ohio lawmakers asked leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to extend the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), which helps people struggling to pay their healthcare bills.

Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) lead a group of Ohio lawmakers, asking for an extension to be attached to the next piece of legislation considered by either committee. The tax credit expired on Jan. 1.

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“Thousands of families rely on the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), which helps some struggling American families pay their health bills,” lawmakers wrote in a letter Monday. “Given the importance of the HCTC to these American families who have already lost so much, we urge that an extension of this valuable program be included in any bill reported out of your respective committees.”

The HCTC is available to people who have lost their jobs and receive Trade Adjustment Assistance or have had their  pension plans taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). 

Brown and Portman said thousands of Ohioans, whose auto and steal jobs were sent overseas when Delphi left the region, need the tax credit.

“These families include thousands of Delphi retirees whose pensions were terminated during the GM bankruptcy and subsequently turned over to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation,” the lawmakers wrote. “Without the HCTC, which expired on Jan. 1, 2014, these salaried retirees face financial hardship with up to 50 percent of their remaining pension going to fund their healthcare premiums.”

Ohio Reps. Mike Turner (R), Tim Ryan (D), Steve Chabot (R), Marcy Kaptur (D), Bill Johnson (R), Dave Joyce (R) and Steve Stivers (R) also signed the letter.

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