Friday, September 13, 2013

Detroit Considers Pushing Union Retirees Into ObamaCare Exchanges

Detroit Considers Pushing Union Retirees Into ObamaCare Exchanges
Sympathy factor stuck at zero. The public sector unions have been bleeding the taxpayers dry for decades.
DETROIT (Reuters) – Detroit’s emergency manager is considering ending its health insurance coverage for city retirees under age 65 and giving them a modest stipend to purchase insurance from the health exchanges being established under Obamacare, according to a lawyer who represents two associations of public workers.
Brian O’Keefe, an attorney who represents associations of Detroit police, firefighters and other city employees, said on Thursday that the emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, is considering offering a stipend of about $125 a month for retirees under age 65. Those over 65, who now get city-paid health insurance to supplement their Medicare coverage, would get only Medicare.
Orr’s spokesman, Bill Nowling, said he could not comment on the specifics of the current proposal, but he said Orr initially spoke with the city’s unions and pension boards in June about the changes to their healthcare plans. At that time, Nowling said, Orr proposed offering retirees under 65 $110 per month to purchase coverage from a health exchange.
Detroit in July became the largest city in U.S. history to seek bankruptcy protection, and Orr is struggling to pare down its more than $18 billion in debt.
Nowling said it was imperative for the city to quickly reach a deal with the retirees about their healthcare because the insurance exchanges being established under the U.S. Affordable Care Act are scheduled to launch October 1.
“This is absolutely crucial to getting (Detroit’s financial situation) figured out,” Nowling said. “What’s even more important is we have to get an agreement and move forward on a plan because retirees are going to have to start making decisions about what provider they want to seek out.”
O’Keefe said the plan to offer younger retirees a stipend was “outrageous then and is outrageous now,” saying the monthly payment is “not even close to comparable to what they’ve been receiving.”
Converting younger retirees to a plan offering a $125 monthly stipend would reduce Detroit’s annual retiree healthcare costs to less than $50 million from $170 million, Lamont Satchel, the city’s director of labor relations, told the Detroit Free Press.

Thank You Reuters and Zip. 

And Who were Their Union Bosses and organizers out campaigning for? Hmmm?

Hope and Change? 

You can bet they weren't expecting to be served this turd in their punch bowl.

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