CHICAGO — Chicago retirees who stand to lose city subsidized healthcare under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to dismantle their existing program and move most over to the state's pending healthcare exchange are firing back, suing the city to hold on to a benefit they believe is constitutionally protected.

The suit seeks a permanent solution for participants in the city's annuitant healthcare plan after 26 years of litigation and temporary agreements. The complaint was filed by Michael C. Underwood and more than 300 fellow plan participants against the city and trustees for the city's four funds last week in Cook County Circuit Court. It seeks class action status.

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