Retired employees threaten to sue the city over health care changes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — “I don’t care if the mayor wants to sit up in his office on the seventh floor and smile and wear the fancy suits. This is low down.”

Mike Lee is president of the Association of City Retired Employees, better known as ACRE. Wednesday, this group got together to discuss what legal options they have to sue the city over healthcare cuts.

Lee said, “You know what’s the option? We got backed into a corner.”

Those cuts affect current workers and retirees, but we couldn’t get any current employes to talk on camera, but they told WREG they are furious.

Mayor A C Wharton says they are anticipating this.

“Any time there is change you can expect lawsuits. That’s the American way.”

Wharton says the city needed to make a change, or else it would go bankrupt. Next month, the city must decide on if it should change the way it funds the pension program. Something the state said needs to happen.

Tuesday night, hundreds of people came to speak out, specifically about health care. Lee said it ended up being all for show.

“All of us went through the motions thinking we had democracy up there, but we didn’t.”

He says the major concerns are from retirees on a fixed income. Their healthcare premiums are expected triple next year, and they’re already starting to panic.

“One person this morning told us that after they pay their new premium they would have $95 to pay their food, their light bill and everything else.”

15 comments

  • mark

    To Patty McGee, lets see you get shot at or go inside a building on fire, you’d be screaming about the loss of healthcare also, Police and Fire suffer from medical issues more than general population but that’s ok cause the city just took it away, curious to see what happens next……hope police and fire are there next time you need them…

  • Long Gone

    Welcome to Barrycare.
    “Any time there is change you can expect lawsuits. That’s the American way.” Well it’s more like the Memphis way. Bet what they pay in attorneys fees each year would cover healthcare

    • Just saying, too

      Or blame everything on the President or political affiliation (whether lib or conserv), to include local issues voted on by a city council. There have been Presidents that I have detested [their performance], but I would never say or post some of the comments that these people have posted. There is clearly a difference in class at play with some of these posters. I suspect there is another reason behind why they hate this President so much and it has nothing to do with his performance just as “Obamacare” has nothing to do with this news story.

      • atjohnson

        You are right JUST SAYING, TOO. Without insult, character speaks loudly in some of these posts. Some people lower themselves to the level they claim to be occupied by those they criticize. I have never seen a city so obsessed with division and race to the point of paralysis….but I refuse to participate. Blame, blame, blame thrown back and forth. At the end of the day until everyone on both sides: (1) Make a personal commitment that no matter what happened in the past to find common ground and promote good will (2) Make a commitment to do everything personally to show their perceived or real antagonist can trust me (3) Make a commitment to reciprocate trust…Until that happens we will continue a downward spiral and be the joke and armpit of the nation.

      • luvbreamfishin'

        @just saying: Oh please,if would have been Bush you and the rest of you liberals would have been yelling from the top of your lungs that this was his fault. We all know anything that has to do with healthcare now IS because of obamacare,,,look it up,,or better yet ask someone who works in a hospital.

  • Bill

    Here’s 10 things I’ll do when I’m elected mayor;
    1. Cut 10% of the City work force
    2. Reduce all 6 figure salaries to 5.
    3. Freeze Property Taxes for my term
    4. Have rolling Curfews for high crime neighborhoods by Zip codes.
    5. De-annex Hickory Hill and Cordova.
    6. Stop the Minority requirements for City bids.
    7. Create a City Department that inspects all Rental properties(like a home inspector) for renters. The fee is paid by the Landlords.
    8. Vacant properties are taxed at 2X the current property tax rates. Vacant means an occupancy rate of less than 80% per address for a Calendar year.
    9. Reduce the MATA routes by 50% and make Tuesdays a ride free day for all Memphians.
    10. No new development contracts for Developers.

  • kevin

    The city can not afford your Cadillac plan anymore. Wish I could sue because of my crappy health insurance. bucnh of cry babies.

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