The City Council hearing on Monday went very well. We filled the Council chamber with about 250 retirees, plus we had about 300 people outside chanting, "Let us in!" Our government liaisons were able to get the retirees into 250 Broadway so they were warm and could hear the hearing. As people left the chamber, retirees were permitted to come across the street to the chamber to testify.
We had retirees testifying until 9 pm! We were heard. We were also blessed to have Wendell Potter testify with us. Wendell, is a nationally known whistleblower in the insurance industry. Here is his newsletter about the hearing.
The hearing lasted almost 12 hours long. If you want to watch the full testimony of the day click here. VIDEO. ....NY
- The latest email from the New York City Organization of Public
Service Retirees: They are advising us to be
patient. The most important paragraph from the email: We
have asked you all to NOT call City Council. We are allowing them to
absorb this week quietly, and we will advise you to our strategy next
week. Monday is a holiday, and we will be in meetings on Tuesday. We
will advise you of our next steps soon. In the meantime, look back on
all we accomplished together! You wanted to be heard, and boy did they
hear you! Things are looking good... just give us a few days.. Be
hopeful! WE ARE!
Arthur did a piece on the same issue destroying the leaderhip.
MORE News and links:
Don't discount the significance of right wing Republicans and Democratic Socialists coming together, a story that might stimulate national interest:
You know your for-profit, privatized Medicare Advantage health insurance plan really sucks when right-wing Republicans and left-wing Democrats actually unite to defeat its imposition on municipal retirees.
Medicare Advantage has been exposed as a vehicle to enrich for-profit insurance. You don't hear the truth on corporate MSM. You get the truth, unvarnished on Work-Bites https://www.work-bites.com/view-all/in-nyc-theyre-lining-up-left-amp-right-to-defeat-medicare-advantage
How bad are Medicare Advantage schemes?
(Dis)Advantage exposed exposes the Shame of Mulgrew claiming MedAdv is
just Medicare Part C (Technically it is but he tries to give the
impression there is really no difference).
AARP NY Says NO to NYC’s Medicare Advantage Scheme: ‘A Promise Made Should be a Promise Kept’
Wendell Potter's testimony to New York City’s Committee on Civil Service and Labor against Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to move New York’s public worker retirees into an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan.
Insurers Are Fighting To Protect Their Medicare Fraud
This year, for the first time, a majority of seniors eligible for Medicare will be on privatized Medicare Advantage plans. Now, the insurance companies raking in giant profits from these for-profit plans are mounting a pressure campaign and planning to sue the government to protect years of overpayments they’ve extracted from Medicare.
A cash cow for big insurers, the for-profit version of Medicare has not been a great deal for the American public. Medicare Advantage plans cost the government more per beneficiary than traditional Medicare, and often wrongfully deny care.
What’s more, federal audits have found Medicare Advantage plans systematically overbilling the public — mostly by billing as if patients are sicker than they really are, a scheme known as “upcoding.” Officials estimate the private plans collected $650 million in overpayments from 2011 to 2013.
The Biden administration is expected to finalize a rule next month to try to recoup some of these overpayments — but Medicare Advantage insurers are threatening to sue if the rule moves forward as written, according to Stat News. If insurers sue, it could further delay the government’s efforts to claw back excess payments stretching back more than a decade, as well as future overpayments.
The health insurance industry argues that regulators should allow for some level of payment errors — and should only apply new rules to audits moving forward, instead of retroactively punishing past misconduct.
“It’s crazy,” said Diane Archer, founder of Just Care USA, an organization that opposes Medicare privatization. “They overcharged. Who’s ever heard of a situation where you’re overcharged and you don’t get your money back? It’s beyond comprehension. The Medicare trust fund should not be paying out funds inappropriately, and it’s driving up Medicare [insurance] premiums.”
“Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars, If Not More, At Stake”
President Joe Biden is doing nothing to slow the Medicare privatization push. Indeed, his administration has hiked payments to Medicare Advantage insurers while expanding a program called ACO REACH that allows companies to enroll seniors on traditional Medicare into private health care plans without their informed consent.