Gaston Co. Commission to Change Health Benefits Policy After Backlash

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GASTON COUNTY, NC — Gaston County Commissioners say they made a mistake after community backlash over extended health insurance benefits for Commissioners on the taxpayers’ dime.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow any elected Commissioner who serves an entire four-year term the option to keep their health benefits until they are old enough for Medicare.  Commission Chair Tracy Philbeck says they were not trying to make money or have special treatment.

Philbeck posted a message on his Facebook page, saying: “I have heard you loud and clear and plan to fix this issue.  I thank you for your time and consideration.  I sincerely apologize for my actions.”

He’s calling a special meeting on Tuesday to change the extended health benefits, so Commissioners would have to pay for the benefits, not taxpayers.