MULGREW EMAIL SHOWS ROUND TWO PUSH FOR MULGREWCARE (PRIVATIZED MEDICARE ADVANTAGE) IS UNDERWAY... ICE Blog
Initial Analysis from a Retiree Advocate member on today Scheinman ruling
It looks like he's trying to establish the status quo ante, from before the lawsuit. It's a crass ploy to pressure the City Council to amend the Code.
It seems to me that Scheinman is threatening to do some things that he might not have the power to do, which will result in lawsuits. By the way, Scheinman is the one who is threatening our collective bargaining rights, not Judge Frank....
- He's ordering the City & MLC to reach an agreement with Aetna, within 25 days, to administer the old Alliance plan.
- He's threatening that if the City Council doesn't amend the Code within 45 days he will end Emblem Senior Care.
- He will allow the City to offer other options to retirees, as long as there is no cost to the City.
- In the above case, retirees would pay the full cost of any other City plan we chose (so we would presumably still receive our Medicare Part B reimbursements if we chose a City plan). Would the City's offerings include a Medigap plan? I don't know.
- Which is exactly where we were before Judge Frank's ruling.
Let's be clear -- Mulgrew et al is moving us out of a publicly managed option into this private corp monster where profits come before our health.
CVS Plans $10 Billion Share Buyback - Bloomberg.com
CVS Health: Signify As Growth Catalyst, 8% Buyback Yield, And Cheaply Valued
Dec. 08, 2022 4:26 AM ETCVS Health Corporation (CVS)
CVS Health is a healthcare company known for its CVS Pharmacy. In addition to CVS Pharmacy, CVS Health owns CVS Caremark and Aetna, among others.
Third quarter 2022 results were strong. During the quarter, revenues increased 10%, free cash flow increased 73%, and earnings per share increased 9%.
Analysts on the Seeking Alpha CVS ticker page expect the dividend to grow 5% for fiscal 2023 and fiscal 2024.
Check quick: Does Scheinman own stock in CVS because this can be a $38 billion windfall?
- when Unity was hard-selling this deal, in an unexplained rush, they clearly said there were no health care give backs. And then they did not provide Appendix B.
- Appendix B is about health care cuts.... Jonathan Halabi, Was 2018 the Worst Bad Deal Ever?
The arbitrator also said that unless the City Council amends the New York City Administrative Code within 45 days, GHI SeniorCare and all other current “pay-up” plans will no longer be offered once the premium‑free Medicare Advantage plan launches.
The American Medical Association (AMA) was disappointed in DOJ’s decision, standing by its stance that the merger will harm patients. “We now urge the DOJ and state antitrust enforcers to monitor the postmerger effects of the Aetna acquisition by CVS Health on highly concentrated markets in pharmaceutical benefit management services, health insurance, retail pharmacy and specialty pharmacy,” AMA President Barbara L. McAneny, M.D., said in a statement.
|Karen S. Lynch President and Chief Executive Officer||Total Cash $7,045,167||Total Compensation $20,388,412|
|Shawn M. Guertin Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer||Total Cash $4,323,636||Total Compensation $14,339,230|
UFT: For Immediate Release – Thursday, December 15, 2022
UFT Statement on Arbitrator’s Decision on new Medicare Advantage program
An independent arbitrator has ordered the city to negotiate a new Medicare Advantage program with the Aetna insurance company in the next 25 days. He also determined that if an agreement is reached, the city’s unions would have a choice of either approving the deal or facing the necessity of paying premiums for health care.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew said: “In the last decade the cost of health care has been rising dramatically and over the long term only action by the federal government can solve this national crisis.”
“In the meantime, the municipal unions have been negotiating with the city on how to preserve our health care benefits. Most importantly, we want to maintain plans that do not require our members to pay the thousands of out-of-pocket dollars that most workers now typically have to pay for health insurance.”
“A new Medicare Advantage plan will be negotiated to keep that premium-free status, and we will make sure that it meets our retirees’ needs, even while saving hundreds of millions of dollars that will be dedicated to other health care services.”
Arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman issued his findings December 15, 2022. Scheinman, who played a key role in city/union health agreements in 2014 and 2018, has been appointed by the parties to arbitrate any potential disagreements over interpretation of the pact and to enforce its provisions. Scheinman also chairs the Tripartite Health Insurance Policy Committee, consisting of the city and the MLC, which was formed in 2018 to consider how city health care could be restructured to preserve quality while stemming the rising cost of its delivery.
A copy of the full decision is here: https://www.uft.org/(Scheinman's conclusions start at page 28)
sites/default/files/ attachments/Dec15-healthcare- arbitration.pdf
Here’s the link to the MOA: https://www.uft.org/files/attachments/secure/moa-2018.pdf
Appendix B, as you might guess, is not attached.
In fact, when Unity was hard-selling this deal, in an unexplained rush, they clearly said there were no health care give backs. And then they did not provide Appendix B. James found it. But because the leadership hid it, and most members rely on the leadership for their information, there is no way of knowing how many of those who voted yes on the contract knew there were givebacks. Probably very few, in light of Unity’s brazen lies. Arthur provides a good summary of the Unity rush to get the 2018 contract passed without revealing the health care give backs.Appendix B is a letter. Here’s a link to the whole of Appendix B (4 pages).
So, we already know, agreeing to cutting health care is a bad deal. But worst deal ever? Let’s look at 1.a, and focus on 1.a.iv
First, a reminder: “savings” are savings for the City of New York and the Stabilization Fund. “Savings” for you and me mean less health care, harder to access health care, or more costly health care.
So Appendix B is about health care cuts.
Let’s focus on line iv. $600 million per yer – on a recurring basis. That means, even though that contract is over, the health care cuts need to continue forward. And worse. Any fool knows, health care costs are going up. So whatever cuts were good enough to amount to $600 mil a year ago, they are not enough today. Unity has put us on the hook for never ending cuts in health care. That’s what makes this perhaps the worst negotiated deal, ever.
Our contract is expired. But the health care cuts continue.
The health care cuts are permanent.
And Appendix B promises more cuts every year that health care costs rise.
More from Mulgrew:You have my promise that the UFT will not move forward with the new plan until we have agreed on a high-quality plan our retirees deserve.
|Where we go from here|
|During the next 25 days, we will push Aetna hard on these fronts:|
Local 831, I.B.T. Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association, AFL-CIO
HENRY A. GARRIDO
District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
United Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
City Employees Union, I.B.T., AFL-CIO
Council of School Supervisors & Administrators
Uniformed Firefighters Association
BENNY BOSCIO, JR.
Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association
S.E.I.U. New York City Local 246
ROBERT CROGHAN Organization of Staff Analysts
JUDITH A. CUTCHIN
New York State Nurses Association
Detectives’ Endowment Association
MARTIN A. LYDON
District Council of Carpenters, AFL-CIO
WILLIAM M. LYNN
International Union of Operating Engineers Local 30, AFL-CIO
JOSEPH MANNION Sanitation Officers Association
Local 854, Uniformed Fire Officers Association, AFL-CIO
Local 1180, NYC Administrative Employees, CWA, AFL-CIO
FRANK PROSCIA, M.D. Doctors Council
Local 508, NYC Lifeguard Supervisors, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Lieutenants Benevolent Association
MAF MISBAH UDDIN
Local 1407, NYC Accountants, Statisticians & Actuaries, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Local 371, Social Service Employees, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
To: From: Re:
December 15, 2022
Municipal Labor Committee Members
Harry Nespoli, Chair
Martin Scheinman Decision
Arbitrator Martin Scheinman has issued a decision regarding ongoing health matters. As we had informed you, in light of the delay in implementing the Medicare Advantage Plan and the hastening draw down of the Stabilization Fund, the City had applied to Scheinman to enforce the 2018 Health Agreement. In the attached award, Scheinman finds that the Stabilization Fund has effectively run out of money and that the City and MLC should proceed to negotiate appropriate terms for an MA plan with Aetna within the next 25 days. Assuming terms are agreed upon, he directs that the MLC put that agreement to a vote. The City had argued that a vote was unnecessary because of the arbitration but Scheinman agreed with us that MLC procedures require a vote for a program of this nature. Should the MLC not approve the Aetna program, the matter would revert to him for consideration of how benefits provided for by the Stabilization Fund – including the provision the GHI-CBP premium-free – are to be paid for, including the imposition of premiums on actives and pre-65 retirees. Finally, he, once again, implored the City Council to amend the Administrative Code to allow for “choice” in retiree plans but directed that if the City Council does not act to restore the ability of the City and MLC to offer pay-up options for retirees, Senior Care (and the vast majority of the other options) will be discontinued.
As you will recall, a group of retirees initially challenged the MLC’s ability to bargain healthcare and the City’s ability to adopt a Medicare Advantage plan. While Judge Frank affirmed the MLC’s role and the implementation of the Medicare Advantage plan, he read the Administrative Code to preclude offering optional retiree pay-up plans until the cost surpassed that of the actives plan. The appellate court agreed with Judge Frank, including noting that the City need not offer alternative plans. The delay resulting from these challenges and the restriction on the MLC’s ability to negotiate to continue Senior
Page 2.... Martin Scheinman Decision
Care as a pay-up, have prevented the savings lifeline needed to bridge the Stabilization Fund and the many benefits it supports until MLC and City can complete a thoughtful process (now underway) to bid out and restructure the larger health benefit program. The MLC had insisted upon the maintenance of choice when implementing the Medicare Advantage program and fought to preserve that choice, but the matter was forced to an unfortunate decision by outside groups, foot dragging by some and the inaction of the City Council.
As always, the MLC will face the current challenges and work to create the best outcome possible. The work to vet a possible agreement with Aetna informed by past experience with the Alliance is underway and we will continue to press to protect our members and retirees as we navigate the needed changes.