Petition circulates to reverse Memphis city employee health care - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Petition circulates to reverse Memphis city employee health care cuts

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A woman who is worried about her parents launched a petition to reverse cuts to health care; nearly 2,000 people have already signed it. (Source: WMC Action News 5) A woman who is worried about her parents launched a petition to reverse cuts to health care; nearly 2,000 people have already signed it. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Dianne Hinson says her elderly parents cannot afford $1,800 per month for health care starting in January. (Source: WMC Action News 5) Dianne Hinson says her elderly parents cannot afford $1,800 per month for health care starting in January. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC) - A woman who is worried about her parents launched a petition to reverse cuts to health care for city employees, nearly 2,000 people have already signed it.

Dianne Hinson says her elderly parents cannot afford $1,800 per month for health care starting in January. Her mother has Alzheimer's and her father is in his 80s. The petition is asking city council members to reverse their votes on the 2014-15 budget. 

As a result of the vote, active retirees will average a 24 percent hike, while elderly retirees will be hit 13 times harder. Hinson says her father, a retired police officer, will be slammed with a health care hike of more than 300 percent.

"My dad is 84 years old," said Hinson. "My  mom is 82. Now, I'm going to start crying."

Fighting back tears, Hinson said she is most worried about her dad who has quit taking his pricey blood pressure medication.

"He gave all those years. Now he's taking care of my mom who's 82, has Alzheimer's. He's taking care of him. She doesn't know him, she doesn't know us. Now they want to raise his insurance rates to $1,800 a month?" Hinson said.

"No one likes doing these things," said Memphis City Councilman Kemp Conrad. "But we had to do it to benefit 650,000 people. The folks who are affected, they have other options. They can get other health care."

Conrad says the vote was a tough one that he does not think will be reversed.

"Zero chance of this getting overturned. What we are going to do is work overtime to make sure we get the word out on other plans that are available," Conrad added.

"He doesn't have social security," said Hinson about her dad. "He can't get on Medicare, all he has is his pension. All he has is his city insurance ... This will kill him. I have sheltered him from all of this."

Hinson plans to attend a rally being held at Memphis City Hall on Tuesday to protest the vote. 


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