My name is Paula Ready and I have served as a Child Support Case Worker in San Bernardino County for the past 18 years. My job hits close to home – my youngest son is autistic. As a single mother, I am his sole financial provider, and most of my income goes toward supporting him.
I also have an autoimmune disease that requires continuous medical attention. Health care from the county job keeps me afloat. But in retirement, I lose my health benefits and will have only one way to pay for health care and all my other costs– my pension.
Losing my pension would be disastrous for my family. I realized this a couple years ago when ideological groups launched an effort to gut San Bernardino County pensions. Cutting pensions would diminish the quality of care I am able to provide for my son, robbing us of our ability to choose the best doctors. My daughter – who is currently raising two young children – would have to help care for my son and me. People who work for a living should not be forced to push their costs onto the next generation. It’s backwards and shortsighted economic policy.
I have worked hard and served the citizens of San Bernardino well. My pension and modest $200 Social Security check are the only sources of retirement income that I have. Most of this income will go towards finding private healthcare insurance. After decades of dedicated service, ruining my family’s financial future is just wrong.