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posted: 11/6/2013 5:00 AM

Chicago treats poor better than retirees

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I recently saw a newspaper article regarding the city of Chicago providing free mammograms to women who do not have insurance. This article is an insult to every retired city of Chicago worker.

As a retiree, my city of Chicago-administered health plan does not cover mammograms or any preventive care for that matter. For years retirees of the city of Chicago have had to pay for this service out of pocket.

I know that everyone thinks retired city employees receive way more than they deserve, but this stigma actually has been caused by the politicians who have abused the retirement system. Our local politicians have made sweetheart deals for themselves and their friends, not paid into the system as required and mismanaged funds. Retired city workers paid their portion into the pension system for 20, 30 or 40 years.

Recently the city notified retirees they will have to pay 47 percent more for their portion of the city health insurance that does not cover the mammograms that it provides for free to poor women. Mayor Emanuel and the state of Illinois do not have money to pay the pensions what they owe or provide affordable comprehensive health coverage to retirees but, they have plenty of money to provide free mammograms to the poor, build a park to honor Maggie Daley or build a stadium for a private university (just to name a few). Perhaps they should consider no new projects or programs until all past obligations have been fully met and binding contracts are fulfilled.

If Mayor Emanuel wants to really honor Maggie Daley, maybe he should honor her by providing mammogram coverage to all women of the city not just a select few.

Karen Orlich


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