Wiping away tears, she told Chief Human Resources Officer
"I've been getting rid of all earthly possessions because this man does not deserve indigent care," Booker said of her husband.
Booker, like many retirees, is worried her costs could rise drastically if Mayor
A city spokesman said Booker's premiums will be lower in the private exchange, and other city employees will be able to save money also.
Smith said a private exchange would give retirees more and affordable health care options, including retirees younger than 65. Pre-65 retirees lost their city insurance subsidies at the start of the year as the city tried to reduce its liability for expensive claims.
Unions and employees often cited the loss of the pre-65 subsidies as one of the main challenges to recruitment or retention of public safety employees, which has been a major emphasis of Strickland's administration in his first year.
"We went on a mission, really, to find a solution for them," Smith said of the pre-65 retirees Tuesday.
"The private exchange is the only realistic option to save pre-65 subsidies," Mayor
But instead of reinstating the 70 percent subsidy for pre-65 retirees, the city will fund Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) for all retirees, which spreads out the burden for reducing the city's liability across all retirees.
In a press conference Monday outside
"Simply put, it is not an affordable option," said Kirk, herself the widow of
Pressed by Booker about the possible pitfalls, Smith only had time to say "I understand" before city spokesman
"I don't think you do," Booker tearfully replied as Smith walked away. "I don't think any of you do."
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