To the Editor: The Retiree Advocate Caucus of the UFT supports improving our health care.
Expand what works. Pass the NY Health Act (Senate and Assembly bills S5474 and A6058) currently before committees in both chambers.
It would offer free full coverage for all state residents, is meticulously designed, and its benefits include mental-health, dental and home-care coverage, funded through progressive state taxes on wealthier New Yorkers.
State voters elected a super-majority of Democrats. Activists in an extensive statewide network work on education, publicity and promotion of single-payer coverage. The full text of the legislation is available on-line as is the Rand Research report, "An Assessment of the New York Health Act: A Single-Payer Option for New York State," which discusses concerns.
The Municipal Labor Committee announced publicly, without previous consultation with rank-and-file union members, its intention to contract-out administration of some Medicare benefits for city employees and retirees to a for-profit insurance company, adding another level of bureaucracy whose range of authority is not clear, and whose CEOs make multiples of our highest wages while stockholders profit though doing nothing.
Each union member should express her/his/their opinion. Study and discuss these proposals. Communicate with union officials, State Assembly Members and State Senators. Write letters to officials and media. Vote in union elections and in city elections.
Participation creates democracy.
Retiree Advocate Caucus,
Retired Teachers' Chapter, UFT
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