LAMB CALLS FOR HEALTH CARE PROTECTIONS FOR STRIKING USW STEELWORKERS
(PITTSBURGH, PA) – Today, Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Martin Walsh and U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, calling on them to protect the health care of workers who strike during negotiations for a fair contract.
“I met with local steelworkers today who are fighting for fair wages and a fair contract,” said Lamb. “Those workers should not have their health care – for themselves and their families – put in jeopardy during a strike. The American Rescue Plan offers workers protections, and we need the Administration to ensure those protections are put in place immediately.”
The American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden, made it possible for workers and their families to be protected by creating a full subsidy for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) continuation of health coverage through September 30, 2021. An individual who was covered by a group health plan on the day before the occurrence of a qualifying event such as a termination of employment or a reduction in hours that causes loss of coverage under the plan are able to elect COBRA continuation coverage upon that qualifying event. The American Rescue Plan would pay 100% of the cost for that coverage.
However, before the any workers can take advantage of this important provision in the American Rescue Plan the Departments of Labor and Treasury must issue guidance and regulations affirming that striking employees are eligible for the full 100% COBRA subsidy.
Click here to read Lamb’s letter urging the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury to move quickly to ensure critical protections for workers.