Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- Count some lawmakers among those who want to continue subsidizing public retiree health care.
The Public Employees Insurance Agency has proposed ending subsidies, starting with employees hired in 2010.
Critics include the house of delegates' bipartisan labor caucus. Fifty of its members urged the agency to keep the subsidies.
The agency also heard from senate majority leader Truman Chafin.
During Wednesday's interim meetings, the Mingo County democrat mocked its plan to air the proposal at public hearings around the state.
Chafin questioned whether the decision has already been made. He suggested that the public hearings were meaningless, and a waste of time and money.
Official say ending subsidies will prevent crushing debts in the future.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)