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To the editor:
Because the City Council refuses to allow Mayor Eric Adams to amend the Administrative Code to implement the Medicare Advantage plan, Adams threatens to use the “nuclear option” to let the city unilaterally enroll all retirees in a single Medicare Advantage Plan. This is nothing more than a bluff by Adams to give the complicit and corrupt union leaders who side with him to scare municipal retirees into accepting the implementation of his Medicare Advantage plans — which are clearly inferior to the GHI Senior Care plan now in effect.
The mayor’s office had previously sent Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and other Council members an ultimatum: Either amend the administrative code to permit the violation of the administrative code by charging retirees for some insurance or the no-options plan kicks in (every retiree is forced into the Medicare Advantage plan). This is just a bluff and not something Adams would do if he wants to continue his political career.
The planned reductions to health coverage through the privatization of Medicare for retirees will weaken the rights of city workers. Everyone knows the city has other options for reducing health care costs. Instead of amending the Code Section 12-126, the city could use its purchasing power to get hospitals to reduce exorbitant charges, reduce the ludicrous costs of prescription drugs and conduct audits of insurance companies.
The Amsterdam News recently had the following article: Barbara Caress, a PSC/CUNY member and health care consultant, told the Council about the widely noted differences between Medicare and Medicare Advantage. She said that care centers like the Mayo Clinic have informed patients not to participate in Medicare Advantage because of confusion about fee structures and out-of-network providers. “Provider directories are always out of date,” Caress asserted. “The only way to know if a doctor is in or out is to ask. And even then, there is no guarantee that a doctor will still be accepting [Medicare Advantage] when you need her care.”
We retirees have to fight this battle against the change in Administrative Code if we want to protect our life-saving health care coverage and not cause devastating financial harm to many retirees.
Michael J. Gorman
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Wednesday, January 25 Report this