MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – A Mobile County employee stepped up to the podium and brought the auditorium to it’s feet.
“I’ve gone two months without two of my medicines. And if affected, I can have a massive heart attack or I can lose my sight because I’m not taking my medicine,” he said right before a huge swell of applause.
He was one of many that spoke out on Thursday, July 31 about concerns over Mobile County employees’ health care plans. On April 1, 2014, the county switched over to a plan called the Local Government Health Insurance Program. This program is what caused all the outrage.
About 300 people showed up for the meeting. The Mobile County Commission limited every person to five minutes to speak. About a half dozen people spoke. There were even some tears and chanting.
Sheriff Sam Cochran, multiple other representatives from the Sheriff’s office, a representative from the Strickland Youth Center and the Revenue Commissioner were among the people that spoke out on behalf of their department.
“Their insurance costs have tripled or quadrupled in the last seven years and the employees have not had raises, so they’re very frustrated, and then on top of that, the insurance changed. And with that change came a lot of misunderstandings and in some ways reduced coverage,” Sheriff Cochran said.
Katina Randolph with the Strickland Youth Center gave the commissioners a call to action.
“We just want our voice to be heard, we’re asking that they reconsider and please go back to our old insurance plan,” she said.
Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson says their voices have been heard.
“I think we have a lot of frustrated employees and I understand,” she said. “I understand that what they’re saying, we’ve had a change in our insurance programs that some things are problematic about it. We’re still trying to work out those details, but we heard them loud and clear and we’re going to do everything that we can. “