Friday, April 30, 2021

Retiree Advocate/UFT Calls for MLC Moratorium on health care modifaction negotiations until greater transparency; Will Host Sunday eve info/action Zoom at 7PM

RA/UFT  is sending the following letter to the Municipal Labor Committee: 
To: Harry Nespoli, Chair, MLC
CC: Michael Mulgrew

The members of Retiree Advocate/UFT strongly object to the lack of transparency over the process in awarding contracts to one of two finalists in the proposed transfer of 250,000 retirees out of Medicare and into a privatized Medicare Advantage plan.

Until there is complete transparency regarding the process, with full information to those affected by this decision,  Retiree Advocate/UFT calls for the Municipal Labor Committee to declare a moratorium on this move due to the deleterious effect it will have on NYC retirees.

Retiree Advocate/UFT

I've been part of Retiree Advocate/UFT Organizers. We spent the past few months preparing a platform and a slate to challenge Unity Caucus in the upcoming UFT retiree chapter elections (ballots go out in about 10 days - if you are a retiree check the Retiree Advocate slate). We have 130 retirees running and could have had 300 to fill the entire slate but were running out of time.

Then a few weeks ago, just as we were meeting the UFT deadline for sending in our leaflet that will be sent out with the ballot, we began hearing about these negotiations going on behind our backs about pushing us all into a privatized version of our much beloved Medicare - which everyone should have but is opposed by our unions and the Democratic Party which are so tied to privatized insurance corporations that I sometimes wonder what they are getting out of it -- well, the Dems get massive donations but exactly what are the unions getting? I'll let you speculate on that in your spare time.

Once we were able to gear up and zoom meet - between our doctor appointments - possibly soon to disappear when our docs don't take the Advantage plans -- a plan of resistance began to formulate - and we forsee the battle continuing even if they make this change because we expect they might make things look good initially before the chopping block comes when people are no longer watching.

Someone in another union sent us a missive from the MLC chair Nespoli that MLC  washolding a steering committee meeting Monday, May 3 and a full committee meeting on Wednesday May 5. It is not clear if they will actually vote. Hearing this sparked our moratorium letter to Nespoli and the MLC.

Then we hear that Mulgrew is holding a meeting for retirees on Tuesday May 4 -- hmmmmmm.

COMRO Objects
A similar letter to ours was sent to the MLC on March 14 by COMRO -- what is COMRO? The Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations which includes the UFT which is represented by one of the UFT founders George Altomare who we assume was involved in sending an open letter published in the Labor Press
An Open Letter to Mayor de Blasio and the Municipal Labor Committee:
The Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations (COMRO) has learned that you are in the process of awarding a highly lucrative contract to a major health insurance company to take over administering health insurance for over 200,000 Medicare-eligible retirees effective this July 1. You released an RFP and have eliminated two of the four responders. Your technical committee is evaluating the two finalists and will shortly send their recommendations to you for a final vote. 
Nowhere in this process have you consulted with the 200,000 people and their families to determine how it will help or harm us. Medicare Part B works very well for most of us. We contributed to Medicare during our years of employment with the tacit understanding that we will have the hard-earned entitlement when we turned 65. Now we are dependent on the kindness of strangers to maintain our health and wellbeing without additional cost. We are duly concerned that these types of managed care programs have a history of making it difficult to choose doctors and specialists by introducing bureaucratic hurdles. 
The lack of transparency in your rush to change this program is both insulting and frightening to those of us who have collectively worked millions of years serving the people of New York City. How can we trust our very health to a backroom deal based on a dubious assumption of cost avoidance? 
Before this contract is awarded, you must include actual Part B recipients in the evaluation process to ensure any change in Medicare Part B will not harm us.


RA Sunday night (May 2) Info/Action Zoom at 7 PM

We expected 35 or so but so far registration has gone over 100 and we may have to buy an extended ZOOM package or stream live to FB for the overflow. You can still register:

Make sure to register early for our Zoom event this Sunday.

Retiree Advocate/UFT invites you to a Zoom Meeting
                                     Sunday  May 2 at 7PM

       Is Our Medicare Being Privatized into        
                      Medicare Advantage?
              Information, Discussion, Action

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