On Thursday, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors for a more than $18.5 billion debt, making it the largest city in United States history to file for bankruptcy.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing expressed that he is not proud of the city's financial crisis or its new title as the largest bankrupt city.

"This is a very, very difficult day for me as I am sure it is for a lot of our citizens here in the city of Detroit," said Bing. "When I took office over four years ago, I said Detroit was in a financial crisis and we tried to work our way through this situation over the last four years. But it has been very, very difficult."

It seems that the people who will be most affected by the bankruptcy will be retirees who have pensions, health care, and life insurance plans that are paid by the city. According to the Detroit Free Press, Kevyn Orr, a bankruptcy expert who will oversee Detroit's finances as the city reorganizes, wants to eliminate city-paid health care and life insurance plans because not paying them offers a potential saving of $177 million. That number could put a small but significant dent in the city's huge debt.

"The reality is, that even a casual observer, has had to understand for some period of time now that Detroit simply was not on a sustainable footing," Orr said, "continuing to borrow, continuing to defer pension payments, continuing not to pay its bills on time, continuing a deepening insolvency."

Bankruptcy attorney Ken Schneider believes that retirees could be entitled to a small settlement if the city does eliminate health care as Orr suggests. "It's just going to translate into a great, big claim that will be paid into pennies on the dollar," he said.

Last week, as murmurs of cutting Detroit retiree benefits loomed, police commander Steve Dolunt expressed his fears. He said that cutting his pension could result in him having to find a post-retirement job.

"I'm 57 and in decent shape - there's people who aren't in really good shape, and who's going to hire them?" Dolunt said. "Who's going to hire a firefighter, who's done 20 years, in a new fire department? He can't pass a physical. Same with police officers in their 50s."

"It's scary," he said.

Orr wants those relying on city-funded health care to move to Medicare or, alternatively, register for the health care exchange marketplaces that will be created under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), according to USA Today.

For now, the outlook in the motor city seems pretty grim. But Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder remains optimistic.

"I know many will see this as a low point in the city's history. If so, I think it will also be the foundation of the city's future-a statement I cannot make in confidence absent giving the city a chance for a fresh start, without burdens of debt it cannot hope to fully pay... The citizens of Detroit need and deserve a clear road out of the cycle of ever-decreasing services," he said. "The city's creditors, as well as its many dedicated public servants, deserve to know what promises the city can and will keep. The only way to do those things is to radically restructure the city and allow it to reinvent itself without the burden of impossible obligations."