House leaders must make Health Coverage Tax Credit permanent, says Turner

As the U.S. House of Representatives considers tax extenders legislation in the final months of 2022, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) joined several colleagues this week to urge their chamber’s leadership to include a long-term reauthorization or permanent extension of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), which expired on Dec. 31, 2021.

“We represent working people who have been left without affordable health insurance since Congress allowed the program to expire at the beginning of the year,” wrote Rep. Turner and four other members in a bipartisan letter sent to House leaders. “Especially in a time of record inflation and economic uncertainty, these constituents deserve access to affordable health care through this credit.”

The HCTC provides refundable tax credits to retirees whose pensions have been taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and provides refundable tax credits to cover more than 70 percent of the cost of health insurance premiums for two kinds of workers: those certified as having lost their jobs due to outsourcing, and eligible retirees whose pensions have been taken over by the PBGC, according to their letter.

“Since its inception in 2002, this program has been reauthorized seven times – providing much-needed benefits to workers in such positions,” Rep. Turner and the two Democrats and one other Republican wrote. “These people worked hard their whole lives and don’t deserve the uncertainty and stress of relying on a program that could expire every year or two.”

The lawmakers also pointed out that the bipartisan Health Coverage Tax Credit Reauthorization Act of 2021, H.R. 6339, would authorize the program through 2025. Sponsored in December 2021 by Rep. Turner and cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), H.R. 6339 has been stalled in the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee since that time.

“It’s time to permanently reauthorize the HCTC and we stand ready to work with you to provide affordable health care to our constituents,” Rep. Turner and his colleagues wrote.