Honeywell retirees speak out prior to health care forum
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Sunday afternoon Honeywell retirees who lost their promised life-time health care were trying to get the attention of congressional candidates and voters.
They used a healthcare forum at the Century Center in downtown South Bend to make their statements before the group discussion.
The group of retirees hoped to hear congressional candidates’ views on health care issues and answers from Republican Representative Jackie Walorski, who was not in attendance.
Congressional candidate Mel Hall attended the forum. He recognizes the importance of health care matters in the nation, and the second congressional district.
“This is the time to have people make their voices heard. This is the time to vote,” Hall said.
The forum comes after a health care dilemma that has recently stunned Michiana.
“I was promised life time health care benefits when I retired,” said 37 year retiree Larry Alexander.
Last month more than four thousand Honeywell retirees had their health care coverage taken away.
“We were thrown out in the cold and forced to obtain our own health care benefits,” Alexander said.
Sunday’s forum was designed to engage voters and candidates about a range of health care topics concerning people of the second congressional district.
The Northern Indiana Community Coalition for Health Care hosted the event in hopes of informing voters.
Honeywell retirees in the midst of their own health care crisis used the site of the forum as a chance to share their stories.
Alexander says it’s not just his family who will be impacted by his loss in benefits.
“That money that I could be spending for this health care, 45 thousand, I could be spending in my community,” he said.
Retirees say that the crisis will take millions of dollars out of the community that would have otherwise been spent.
Mel Hall recognizes the retirees in the crisis. “If you make a promise, you gotta keep it,” he said.
Retirees are urging Washington to step in immediately.
A statement from the UAW Local 9 Retirees claims that because Honeywell is a federal defense contractor, the federal government can take action.
Honeywell has previously released a statement on the lifetime healthcare issue.