Illinois lawmakers are moving forward on a bill that would keep the state from paying the full health insurance premium costs for state retirees. This effort is to save the state money, but retirees say it will hurt them. Illinois' now picks up premiums for 78-thousand state retirees at a cost of 900-million-dollars annually. Darlene Edwards of Springfield worked in public health for 18 years. She says paying more for health insurance wouldn’t be fair, especially because her monthly pension check is barely 300-dollars:
"Many people thing that the state retirees get everything free on their health. That is not so. The legislature got us into this mess by spending our pensioin money, and now we don't have anything left in the fund that we paid for."
House Republican Leader Tom Cross says the legislation will make retiree healthcare coverage sustainable. The bill is enjoying bipartisan support and cleared the House Executive Committee this week.
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