New York City’s attempt to steer 250,000 ex-city government employees into Medicare Advantage on January 1 is generating attention, including several lawsuits, a City Council hearing and criticism from Democratic Mayoral nominee Eric Adams.

But none are focused on the key issue.

The city spent $3.2 billion on retiree health care last year. But that’s just the tip of a $118 billion iceberg of debt it owes — more than any government except the state of California.

New York State — including all local jurisdictions and the state government itself — owes a total of $360 billion in other post-employment benefits (OPEB), the most disproportionately large share of the more than $1 trillion owed by states and localities nationwide.

Read the full story here.

About the Author

Peter Warren

Peter Warren is the Director of Research at the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Read more by Peter Warren

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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