by Kenneth E. Grabowski
HR2391, the federal bill that will provide access to health care benefits for the families of public safety officers that lose their lives in the line of duty is gaining momentum. HR2391 was originally introduced by Congressman Bart Stupak, Democrat from Michigan, and is currently in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. In February of this year, Michigan Congressman Joe Knollenberg, Republican, cosponsored HR2391. Congressman Knollenberg met with representatives of the POAM recently at our Redford office and expressed his support of the legislation. Knollenberg stated, “Our local law enforcement officials are on the front lines of stopping crimes in our communities. They provide us protection and are the first to respond to emergencies. With this bill, congress can provide important support to our local law enforcement families.” There are seven other cosponsors to this bill. HR2391 would allow an individual who is a family member of a public safety officer killed in the line of duty to enroll in a federal employee health benefit plan for themselves or their family. Participation is not mandatory, but instead, optional depending on each family’s unique situation and benefits received under contracts. As hard as this is to believe, there are many employers in Michigan who have refused to negotiate and place this benefit into contracts. HR2391 would correct this deficiency.