WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today introduced legislation that would provide funding for health care for Delphi retirees who lost their health coverage due to General Motors’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The bill, which is the Senate companion to legislation offered by Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-17), would create a Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (VEBA) to provide health coverage to hourly workers in the IUE-CWA, IAM, USW, and other unions along with salaried Delphi retirees.
“Delphi retirees worked hard and played by the rules, but are now seeing their health benefits eliminated or greatly reduced,” Brown said. “This bill invests in their service by ensuring Delphi retirees have access to the health care they earned.”
“Since the beginning of this year, I have worked hard to make sure that Delphi workers and retirees get the fair treatment they deserve in this tough time of transition,” Ryan said. “I want to thank Senator Sherrod Brown for taking up this fight. There was a promise made that health benefits would be available for Delphi employees when they entered their golden years and we are going to leave no stone unturned in our effort to see that they get what they’ve earned.”
The legislation would allocate $3 billion in funds from the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 to create a VEBA for former employees of Delphi Corporation. A VEBA is a form of trust that can provide retiree health benefits for certain groups of workers. VEBAs provide tax-exempt health benefits to employees and their dependents. Under the legislation, the VEBA would provide health benefits similar to those Delphi retirees received prior to Delphi’s bankruptcy.
In addition to Ryan, the House legislation is supported by the following members of the Ohio congressional delegation: Reps. John Boccieri, Marcia Fudge, Steven LaTourette, Marcy Kaptur, Mary Jo Kilroy, Dennis Kucinich, Betty Sutton, Michael Turner, and Charlie Wilson.