In Chicago, Obama’s Backyard, Former City Employees Spurn ObamaCare

Sure there’s a bit of stench of public union health care entitlement mentality surrounding this latest tiff, but it is darkly amusing to see retired city employees in President Barack Obama’s old stomping grounds rebelling against his signature achievement. Courtesy of the Fox News affiliate in Chicago:

Retired city workers are asking a judge to block Mayor Emanuel from making them rely on Obamacare for their health insurance. It could cost Chicago taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

This affects most city retirees and it underscores how, after decades of grotesque financial mismanagement, the only choices left are painful ones. A spokesman for the lawsuit was a retired cop, wounded several times in the line of duty. Public employee unions hope that angry taxpayers staring at a doubling or even tripling of City Hall's property tax will empathize with Mike Underwood.

He moves slowly these days, in part because of arthritis he blames on being shot once and stabbed twice during 30 years as a patrol officer, but what bothers Mike Underwood the most right now is City Hall's plan to make him and his wife rely on Obamacare for health insurance. He considers it a betrayal.

"When I was hired, we were promised by Mayor Daley, the first Mayor Daley, that we'd have health insurance for ourselves and our wives for life," Underwood says.

A city spokesperson insists they will indeed have health insurance through the health exchanges, but who knows what that’s going to look like?

Underwood and other retirees won't know until September at the earliest what Obamacare's cost to them may be. A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Insurance told FOX 32 News that six insurance companies have so far submitted 165 different plans, all now under review.

The 62-year-old cop who was once named a Shoreline Hero by a North Side neighborhood group said he now faces co-pays of $750 a month for his and his wife's health insurance. He doesn't want to pay more.

"The mayor doesn't know, nobody knows what Obamacare entails, what it's gonna cover, how much it's gonna cost," Underwood says. "Nobody knows. It's a question the President of the United States couldn't answer."

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  • kinnath||

    "The mayor doesn't know, nobody knows what Obamacare entails, what it's gonna cover, how much it's gonna cost," Underwood says. "Nobody knows. It's a question the President of the United States couldn't answer.

    Anybody with half a brain knew this five years ago.

  • ATXChappy||

    “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it....”

  • wareagle||

    It's a question the President of the United States couldn't refused to answer because he knew the proposal would fail if he did.

  • albo||

    The entire Obamacare legislative process was an exercise in magical thinking enabled by a cheerleading mainstream media and targeted at low-info voters.

  • sarcasmic||

    "When I was hired, we were promised by Mayor Daley, the first Mayor Daley, that we'd have taxpayers would be force to pay for health insurance for ourselves and our wives for life," Underwood says.

    fytw

  • UnCivilServant||

    I'm shocked that he trusted a Daley.

  • ||

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer group of pond scum.

  • kinnath||

    wretched hive of scum and villany

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    "When I was hired, we were promised by Mayor Daley, the first Mayor Daley, that we'd have health insurance for ourselves and our wives for life," Underwood says.

    Take it up with Mayor Daley, then--maybe the death panels can assist in this regard.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I thought city employees didn't pay FICA. IF so, what Emmanuel is doing is ripping off all those who DID pay into FICA.

  • wareagle||

    when karma strikes a bunch of leeches and looters, is it wrong to smile about that?

  • ||

    Aren't public employers covered by the employer mandate. I know it's been delayed for a year, ubt wouldn't Chicago have to pay a $2,000 penalty per worker if they use the exchages?

  • PapayaSF||

    Oh, Hazel, you're being old-fashioned. Obama can always grant exemptions or refuse to enforce the law. You're stuck on that "rule of law," "equality before the law" stuff.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Good question. These are former employees though. Is the employer still obligated to cover them?

  • Paul.||

    Ask again.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Good question. These are former employees though. Is the employer still obligated to cover them?

  • ||

    Yeah, good question. Does the employer mandate cover retirees on pensions?

  • PapayaSF||

    In California, it's in the state constitution that pension benefits cannot be reduced.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    But these are better benefits. Free birth control and all...just what a retired cop needs...for cheap.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "When I was hired, we were promised by Mayor Daley, the first Mayor Daley, that we'd have health insurance for ourselves and our wives for life," Underwood says.

    Mayor Daley, the first Mayor Daley, probably doesn't care very much right now.

  • NeonCat||

    He did say the Chicago police were there to preserve disorder, so he was honest at least part of the time.

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