Rahm Emanuel Email Takes Center Stage In Retiree Health Care Case

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel addresses the media after a City Council meeting

A personal e mail written by Mayor Rahm Emanuel bragging in regards to the now-completed, three-year phase-out of well being care protection for metropolis retirees is taking middle stage within the ongoing authorized battle to revive this system and a 55 % metropolis subsidy.

The retirees’ lawyer, Clint Krislov, highlighted the mayor’s cavalier reply to an October 2015 e mail from enterprise capitalist Henry Feinberg in an Illinois Appellate Court docket temporary filed this week.

The temporary makes the case for a preliminary injunction that might compel the town to revive the now-terminated metropolis protection.

“Since when did Rahm Emanuel let a judicial ruling get in his method and never discover a inventive work-around answer?” Feinberg wrote then.

Emanuel replied, “By no means. Which is why I eradicated retiree well being care. Solely elected official to remove — not lower or reform — a profit. Thanks very a lot. A $175 million saving!”

Emanuel has mentioned he “wasn’t bragging” as a lot as he was “acknowledging how we stabilized” skyrocketing well being care prices.

However Krislov didn’t purchase the mayor’s argument. His temporary manufacturers Emanuel’s e mail “boasting” and “Trump-like.”

It’s all a part of the persevering with fallout from the large data dump that was supposed to finish Emanuel’s authorized battle to maintain 2,700 of his personal emails hid from public view.

“The mayor’s chest-pounding reveals two issues: That the motivation to chop them off was the mayor’s narcissism and that, even he refers to it as a ‘profit,’ ” Krislov mentioned Thursday.

“As a ‘profit,’ it’s protected by the pension-protection clause” of the Illinois Structure that claims advantages might not be diminished or impaired.

Krislov’s temporary additionally takes intention at one other sore level for Emanuel: the credibility of convicted former Metropolis Comptroller Amer Ahmad.

Ahmad chaired the “Retiree Well being Advantages Fee” that laid the groundwork for the phase-out by branding the retiree well being care program “unsustainable.”

The report projected that retiree well being care prices would have ballooned to $307 million by 2018 and $541 million by 2023 if left unchecked.

“The report isn’t any extra credible than its chairman, who now resides in federal jail,” Krislov mentioned. “Town’s precise prices for retiree well being care have been flat at $100 million-a-year from 1987 by 2016. Meaning this isn’t ‘unsustainable.’ It’s not rising.

“If something, it can decline through the years as non-Medicare retirees are changed by Medicare-qualified retirees at a 60 % discount in value. Town is crying wolf for one thing that has been a really manageable expense.”

Krislov’s central argument for restoring the retiree well being care program is that greater than 10,000 metropolis staff and retirees who began working for the town earlier than April 1, 1986 — and who don’t qualify for Medicare — are on their very own to seek for protection that’s troublesome or too costly to search out.

They’ve been pressured to decide on between exorbitant premiums that, in some instances, are double their retirement checks or go with out medical health insurance protection at a time after they want it essentially the most due to their age and declining well being.

“Even when they wished to qualify for Medicare, they couldn’t. And the town advised them, ‘You don’t have to fret about Medicare, you’re on the town plan,’” Krislov mentioned.

The mayor’s workplace had no instant touch upon the brand new submitting.

In courtroom, the town has not disputed that non-Medicare-eligible staff have been advised they might depend on this system. As an alternative, the town’s protection has been that the people who supplied that assurance weren’t approved to make a legally-binding dedication.

After retirees unleashed their anger in regards to the mayor’s personal e mail, Emanuel defended himself.

“You possibly can name what I did heartless. . . . [But] we prevented elevating taxes,” the mayor mentioned then. “And we prevented reducing fundamental neighborhood companies. And we nonetheless met the target of offering and giving individuals well being care.

“Over 30 or 40 years, we promised advantages that have been by no means paid for. Not solely has this [phase-out] saved the town $100 million. It was gonna develop to $350 million with no income supply. I wasn’t bragging a lot as acknowledging how we even have stabilized our well being care prices for the primary time in 30 years.”

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