Santana's office has projected that getting all workers to pay 10% of their health premiums would save the city $51 million a year.
A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation released in September found that the average American worker pays 27% of the cost for employer-sponsored healthcare, coming to $4,316 a year. Pushing Los Angeles employees to pay 10% of their premium would mean they would have to kick in at least $528 a year for their healthcare, city budget officials said.
But city employees can't be expected to see their low-cost care go up without a fight. "We have a track record of partnering with the city to help it through hard times," said Ian Thompson, a spokesman for Service Employees International Union Local 721. "But we're skeptical when the CAO unilaterally proposes more cuts to city workers' benefits as the only solution."
Perry is the only one of the current elected officials to say clearly in recent public appearances that healthcare expenses will have to be on the table. Garcetti told a debate audience earlier this month that he's capable of making such tough calls, noting that some city workers have already been pushed to bear that expense.