Police & Firefighters Face Health Care Benefits Cuts from State Legislators — Are You Kidding Me? [OPINION]
For real? Yes, our State legislators are exploring bills to cut health care benefits statewide for our police and firefighters.
The minute I saw an article on Mlive reporting that legislators are introducing bills to cut or drastically reduce the State's obligation to police and firefighter's healthcare costs across the State, I got very upset.
I come from a family where a lot of my family members, and friends, are in both the police and firefighter career fields. I see the daily sacrifices that they make in order to keep us safe. I hear the accounts of events about running into fires, performing life saving acts, jumping into a lake to save a kid from drowning, or earning a pretty sizable scar because of an attack from a criminal. These are just examples of what these people have to deal with on a pretty daily basis, and now our law makers are thinking of cutting their healthcare short? You've got to be kidding me.
I'm going to try to keep this rant short because I could go on for freaking days. Basically, the Capitol is claiming that the State of Michigan should cut back it's debt to police and fire requiring the communities to foot the bill for retirees, current officers, and new hires. This irritates me greatly. We are lucky to have people who are willing to step up into these rolls, do the job, and now when it has taken a toll on their bodies, we just turn our backs on them? It's not right and not how we thank our community protectors.
I know, you're about to say the State of Michigan is in a bind financially, we all need to 'chip in'. Okay, I propose, we explore cuts to the legislator's own health care benefits and salaries. Did you know, according to Wikipedia, Michigan legislators make a base salary of $71,685 per year, which is the 4th highest in the country and does not take into account for about $12,000 in expenses that they can claim for the State to pay for. Seriously, check out the list from the State of Michigan and how much these cats make.
I will acknowledge the fact that there used to be a 'life time' healthcare benefit for law makers, but since 2013, it's been largely done away with. But you can be sure that their healthcare is well provided for. I'm confident no legislator is trying to decide if they should put off a surgery so they can try to save up money to pay for it.
So, how about we start there? Right in the heart of the State. If legislators want to help the state that they serve, how about they truly set an example and not ask our police and fire to make more sacrifices.