The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Chicago Slashes Retiree Health Care

Nov 11, 2013

Chicago already only pays 55 percent of its retirees health care costs. But even that is too much for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Chicago is phasing out city support for retiree health care for all but the poorest retirees over the next three years. Emanuel is using the Affordable Care Act as an excuse to steal this money from 21,160 city retirees and their 9,108 dependents.

This will be a disaster for retirees. For a retiree too young to qualify for Medicare with children, health insurance will cost an extra $4,440 a year. One retired police officer with Parkinson’s disease said: “The mayor seems to find money for his pet projects, but none to take care of the city’s obligation to provide health care to retirees and their families who were promised health coverage for life.”

Chicago is not broke. Emanuel recently decided to spend 125 million dollars in public money on a new basketball arena for DePaul University. The city gives out millions in subsidies to corporations like Boeing, United Airlines, and Miller-Coors every year. Emanuel and his buddies want to give away even more, and they’re attacking retiree health care to get it. It’s just one more way of stealing from the working class, to subsidize the rich.