KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

L.A., DeKalb County, Ga. Revisits Cuts To Public Workers’ Health Benefits

Los Angeles officials are being challenged on their authority to make changes and, in Georgia, officials have delayed their vote after concerns were raised about costs of the popular program.

Los Angeles Times: Legal Opinion Could Spell Trouble For Plan To Roll Back L.A. Pension Costs
[In] a reminder of the risks faced by local agencies when they tinker with public pension benefits, a law firm retained by the city's Fire and Police Pensions board concluded this month that those benefits were already guaranteed — and that the city is legally obligated to cover the cost of rising health care premiums for its retirees (Zahniser, 9/28).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: DeKalb Debates Employee Health Care, Costs
The DeKalb County Commission was ready to pay nearly $1.6 million more for employee health care next year but delayed voting Tuesday after the county executive called for the county to pay more of the cost of care so that employees can pay less. At issue is a popular HMO plan that the commission agreed to include in its health care options for 2012 after employees said in a public meeting that they would be willing to pay more for it. Overall, adding that plan back in and maintaining the other plans would increase costs nearly 9 percent for the county taxpayers and county workers (Hunt, 9/27).

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