Retired NYC employees sue to block new ‘inferior’ Medicare coverage

Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
1,013
It's redundant to use the term "inferior" Medicare. This implies there's a better or "superior" Medicare. There's not.

When the Affordable (lol!) Care Act - Obamacare passed in the middle of the night, 70% of Americans liked their healthcare coverage. Now, 60% have trouble with/ dislike their coverage.

Your health care needs are no longer the concern of you, your loved ones, and your doctor. Instead, they represent only a financial loss to a faceless corporation with an army of well-paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C..

Someone is happy; just not you.
 
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
15,648
Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

On Sunday, August 20, 2023, 10:41,


THE CITY COUNCIL OWES RETIREES MEDICARE CHOICE

BE OUR GUEST

THE CITY COUNCIL OWES RETIREES MEDICARE CHOICE

BY GARY ALTMAN
Historically, New York’s City Council has set nationwide precedents by adopting historic and landmark legislation dealing with such vital issues as campaign finance, anti-apartheid, human and worker rights, and women and senior citizen protection laws. It once again has the opportunity to protect the health and well-being of more than 250,000 retired city public servants.

Intro 1099 now before the Council would allow a choice between traditional Medicare and a new Medicare Advantage Plan. This bill would protect the many thousands who have been told that some of their long-time oncologists, cardiologists, gynecologists, etc. will not accept advantage plans.

Can anyone imagine the horror of hearing from your oncologist, whose expertise, caring and treatment has kept you or a loved one alive for much longer than anyone expected, that her medical group sadly will not accept Aetna Advantage? This fear and resultant stress, which is proven to bring on sickness and worse, is a heavy burden for so many seniors to endure.

Council members are mistakenly being told that retiree benefits are subject only to the Taylor Law and collective bargaining. The historical facts as detailed below prove that the two largest union supporters of removing all city retirees from traditional Medicare — District Council 37 and the United Federation of Teachers — never before believed this, as evidenced by their own testimony before the City Council on prior legislation amending the exact section, 12-126 of the city’s administrative code, which they mistakenly now claim the Council is preempted from amending.

On my first day working in the Council’s legal division in 1979, I met two people who I would grow to deeply respect, befriend and admire. One was then-aide and future borough president and now again a Council member, Gale Brewer, and the other was Council Member Mary Pinkett.

Our no door offices were only yards apart. Mary, prior to making history by becoming the first Black woman ever elected to the City Council, was the president of Local 371 and vice president of DC 37. Her husband Bill was an active member of the UFT. Mary always fought for the unions and increased worker protections and benefits. For years, the Council would, when necessary, amend section 12—126 of the administrative code to provide city government retirees reimbursement of their Medicare Part B premiums.

But with her distinguished 25 year-plus tenure soon to end, Mary, as Governmental Operations Committee chair, wanted to guarantee full reimbursement for city retirees as promised, no matter who the mayor or speaker in the future might be. This led to the passage of Intro 580-A in 2001 with the outspoken support of DC37 and the UFT. When the final negotiations with the mayor on this bill occurred in early 2001, I along with Speaker Peter F. Vallone, and our chief of staff were the only three Council people in the mayor’s office during these weekly discussions. I’ve always clearly remembered these meetings as I had promised my long-time friend Mary, we’d do all we could to get this bill passed.

That is why I was astonished when I read UFT President Michael Mulgrew’s June 30 letter to Speaker Adrienne Adams in which he claimed that the Taylor Law and collective bargaining disallows legislative action on Intro 1099 and only through collective bargaining can retiree benefits be granted or amended. Mulgrew wrote that this has been the policy for “more than half a century.” He must surely know that this is untrue as in 2000 and 2001 both union presidents strongly urged the Council to pass legislation and amend section 12—126 without a single mention of preemption. And even only 35 years ago, Bob Linn, Ed Koch’s Office of Labor Relations director and chief labor negotiator wrote Mayor Koch on Feb. 26, 1988 that Medicare Part B “reimbursement is pursuant to local law, not any collective bargaining agreement.”

On Jan. 31, 2000, Lee Saunders, administrator of DC37 testified before the City Council on Intro 580 which amended section 12—126 and provided for full Medicare Part B reimbursement. He stated “DC37 emphatically and unequivocally supports this legislation. Indeed, we view it as the fulfillment of a promise made to the men and women who spent their working lives in public service by the city a long time ago.

The promise was that the city would do exactly what the bill calls for: fully reimburse retirees for the cost of Medicare Part B payments.” Saunders did not mention any legislative preclusion or preemption to act because of any supposed restrictive language under collective bargaining or the Taylor Law, as this was one of numerous prior times the Council acted according to its legal authority to amend section 12— 126. It was legal then and it’s legal now.

At the same hearing in 2000, UFT President Randi Weingarten’s personal representative testified on behalf of “our 35,000 member retired teachers chapter and on behalf of the UFT and its 140,000 members urging the Council to adopt Intro 580.” She continued, “We know that the entire Council will vote positively on this important issue.” Again, not a single word of mention about collective bargaining or the Taylor Law was made by the UFT that day.

In fact, the UFT was not even on the invited public witness list prepared by the committee’s counsel which my office then sent out under my signature. Yet they deemed it so important that they came down to City Hall to testify in support of Council passage. The Taylor Law and collective bargaining now touted by the UFT’s current long-time and hand-picked successor to Weingarten as precluding Council legislative action, was again, never raised.

The following year, 2001, the Council finally adopted Intro 580-A and who came to testify at the hearing? Why none other than DC37 and the UFT, and they again both separately testified and urged the quick passage of the legislation by the Council with yet once again, not a single mention of any preemption.

I urge all Council Members to consider sponsoring and adopting Intro 1099. The legality of Section 12-126 has now been upheld by the courts numerous times in the last two years. On Aug. 11, Justice Lyle Frank of Manhattan Supreme Court said, “that both the doctrine of promissory estoppel and the provisions of New York City Administrative Code Section 12-126 bars the actions sought to be taken by respondents.” Isn’t it time that the Council puts this action by the Municipal Labor Committee and OLR to rest? The MLC has never bargained for or represented retirees, and surely not for me as a nonunion City Council employee.

Giving retirees a choice to pick Medicare Advantage or not matters because, according to a 2023 Kaiser Family Foundation study, more than 2 million nationwide prior authorization requests (6%) were fully or partially denied by Medicare Advantage insurers in 2021. The highest percentage of denials which was double that at 12% was from none other than Aetna/CVS.

Just one out of nine of the more than 2 million denials were actually appealed as the process is often difficult, especially for the elderly or infirm. Yet in 82% of those appeal cases, the denial was fully or partially overturned. Aetna after many times wrongly, cruelly, or greedily fully or partially denying 12% of all preauthorizations then overturned and reversed their decisions 90% of the time when appealed.

This was, of course, no help to the eight out of nine enrollees who couldn’t or didn’t appeal believing the initial determination was final. How many of those denials resulted in needless pain, torment or even death?

Please do not be swayed by any MLC or union claim that this Aetna plan has been carefully negotiated and is different and better than all other Aetna plans. A zebra can’t change its stripes. And instead of touting the free meals after hospital stays or car rides (yes many who need, can already get that and it’s called Meals on Wheels and Access-A-Ride) that the Aetna plan will provide, how about letting us stay on traditional Medicare and continue to keep and choose our own doctors. Our lives may depend on it.

Please remember that Aetna is a for-profit company, and however noble some unions may think their effort is, Aetna only makes additional money by denying preauthorizations, whenever possible. They have already admitted to the state Supreme Court that death has occurred because of denials.

The overwhelming majority of more than 250,000 city retirees are living on small pensions and Social Security and will have no choice but to switch to Aetna if the unthinkable happens. These are more likely to be Black, Hispanic and women retirees, whose salaries and thus pensions years ago were often unfairly kept lower. Please, Council think of them and all retirees as we battle the infirmities and diseases that older age inevitably and eventually brings. Do it for Mary.

Altman was an attorney at the City Council for 38 years during which he served for almost 25 years as the legislative counsel to four speakers.


Shared from NYDailyNews iPad app
 
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
15,648
F.D.N.Y.
September 11th, 2001 NEVER FORGET
VOX POPULI!
Meeting Notice WEDNESDAY
December 20th. 2023 Starting at 7PM
EXECUTIVE BOARD MESSAGE;
Our NEW MEETING LOCATION FOR our regular MEETINGs.. WE will have our
meeting at the
'DIKEMAN FIREHOUSE', 10 DIKEMAN DRIVE, GOSHEN NY 10924
Brother's, we take this moment to wish all of our members a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and safe New year!!
This meeting will be 'our' last meeting of 2023. Hopefully the 'Pandemic' is behind us and we will be up to 'normal' speed for the coming year. And just a reminder please have your current Membership Card in our fine organization to show at the door, helps us keep count...........
The main item that we will be working on will be to maintain our Health Care Coverage. The 'City' is still trying to screw us Former Active Members and forcing all of us into a 'coverage plan that is not as good as what we have....Our
'Board' members have been meeting with our local elected officials to encourage them to push for OUR Health Care Protection bills currently in Albany. We need everyone to call, e-mail. Write your local elected people and demand that they support this bill. Remind them that we all vote and have large Families that vote as well. Remember, FIREFIGHTERS are a large Voting group here in the Hudson Valley. And, don't forget to call 'your' Union and ask them where they STAND on this issue.
Brother's, to help continue the FIGHT to protect our Families and us, send in your donation to the
NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees c\o JSH Accounting Service llc
P.O. Box 143538
Fayetteville, GA. 30214
Lack of payment of dues has hurt us so remember if you do not have a
2023 membership card, you have not paid 2023 dues. We need the support of our members... You can mail dues to FDNY RFF of ORANGE COUNTY & Hudson Valley NY, PO Box 54,
Johnson NY 10933. We still have 'Bills' to pay. Organization Ins, Memorial Cards. Info line, and special events that we take part in. You are getting information from us so if you don't have
a membership card, pay your dues, help us to help you...
Please share this notice with any other members that have not signed on to our e-mail
notification list as of yet. If you have a change of address, let us know as our
crystal ball is not working well. Each mailed notice costs us money and we still will be mailing out, via 'snail mail' on occasion. If you don't get this notice, let us know at the meeting.
EXECUTIVE BOARD of The FDNY RETIRED FIREFIGHTERS, ORANGE COUNTY/HUDSON VALLEY NY Dan Finegan, President. Bob Sapienza, Vice-President. Anthony Scialo, 1st Vice-President.
Gerry, Treas. & Laundry & Morale.
Brian Maher, Recording Sec. Joe Prunty, Sgt. at Arms. Rev Sweeny (Father Bob) Chaplain
 
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
15,648

Judge lifts injunction on Local 100 Medicare switch​

Jan. 10 court date scheduled​


Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2023 3:23 pm
BY RICHARD KHAVKINE
The effort by Transport Workers United Local 100 retirees to stop the imminent switch of their health plan benefits from government-run Medicare to privately administered Medicare Advantage programs has hit a roadblock, with the judge overseeing their petition lifting his injunction just days after he had issued it.

Manhattan Civil Court Supervising Judge Shahabuddeen A. Ally dropped the temporary restraining order Dec. 22 following a torrent of affidavits from New York City Transit lawyers and union representatives that followed the Dec. 18 TRO that allege, in one case, “multifaced harm” if the switch is further delayed.
According to one such submission, the temporary restraining order, which set a hearing date of Jan. 23, “will cause immediate harm to NYCTA, as well as numerous members of the class of
retirees that Petitioners purport to represent."

“Further, given the complex, large-scale and ongoing nature of the administrative transition that the TRO abruptly enjoins and the mass confusion that will radiate from that unanticipated change, this harm will incur before and cannot be rectified at or following the January 23, 2024 hearing," the affidavit continued.

The statements argued that the plaintiffs’ petition for the TRO was deficient for several reasons, including because some of the petitioners were not yet eligible for Medicare and so were not impacted by the impending switch.

The judge’s order vacating the temporary restraining order noted only that the MTA and union officials had alleged “sufficient cause.” The parties are due back in court Jan. 10.

The MTA retirees, like their retired New York City civil servant colleagues, have opposed the shift to for-profit, privately administered Medicare Advantage plans because, they argue, they are inferior to their government-administered and cost-free traditional Medicare. The retired transit workers are also angered that they have had little to no say in the planned move.

According to a recent court filing by the MTA’s chief labor and employee relations officer, Anita Miller, and the agency’s director of labor relations, William Jefferson, more than 20,000 Medicare-eligible NYCTA/Transit Workers Union retirees are participating in the plans, administered by managed-care company Aetna, with another roughly 10,000 more dependents also enrolled.

The elimination of their traditional Medicare was included as a provision in a three-year contract approved in July by current rank and file, which by definition the retirees could not vote on. In court filings, the retirees alleged that the MTA and New York City Transit officials together with Local 100 representatives designed a plan during “clandestine meetings with no fair notice or consultation to now dismantle the currently available public Medicare health care option,” which they claimed was a violation of “basic legal standards of fairness” as well as state laws.

richardk@thechiefleader.com
 
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
15,648


Good Morning Retirees and Retirees in Training!

HOMEWORK! MUST DO ASAP!

MUST DO THIS BEFORE WEDNESDAY the 24th! SO PLEASE SHARE!

Several US Senators signed onto the Medicare Advantage Industry Letter. Including Senators Gillibrand and Schumer.

WE MUST ACT!

These are one click links. EASY!

One for an email and one to make a call! THESE MUST BE DONE TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY - AND THEN IT WILL BE TOO LATE. MAKE THE CALLS DURING BUSINESS HOURS!

https://act.newmode.net/action/be-hero-fund/email-congress

https://act.newmode.net/action/be-hero-fund/call-congress-reclaim-medicare-corporate-greed-0


LET'S TELL THESE US SENATORS NOT TO SIGN THE LETTER SUPPORTING MEDICARE ADVANTAGE AND IF THEY DID THEY NEED TO GET OFF!!!

**********



Regards,

The Retirees​


***************************

Your friends, and retirees in SOLIDARITY...

The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees

**************​

Donations are Needed!


TO DONATE TO THE ORGANIZATION

Donation Instructions to Support Our Organization and our Fight To Protect Our Retiree Healthcare:

We worked decades for our benefits! Let’s make sure the City and the MLC don’t take them away!

A suggested $25 Donation* will help start the fight to keep our current benefits.

*Give more if you can, and/or often! If you cannot meet the minimum suggested donation, we appreciate whatever you can give towards this fight for our benefits. We also added the option to make your donation recurring (monthly) as was requested.

We are incorporated as a Non-Profit, but not tax deductible. ALL proceeds go to fund the organization and its legal challenge. Volunteer retirees are running this effort.

TO DONATE, HERE ARE 4 SIMPLE WAYS!

1.Zelle using email NYCOrgofpublicserviceretirees@gmail.com YOU CANNOT USE THE ZELLE APP! You must use Zelle via your online banking. In some cases you cannot use the Zelle via the bank app either. So if you're finding trouble, use the computer and make the payment via Zelle from your online banking.

2. Make your check out to:
NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees
c/o JSH Accounting Services LLC
PO Box 143538
Fayetteville, GA 30214
(this is the organization's accounting professional)

2Fw_940%2Ch_788%2Cal_c%2Cq_90%2Cenc_auto%2FChecks2.png
3. Or click on this Paypal link:
https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=Q4VWJEYVJ9HTW&Z3&fbclid=IwAR0pEOc51x9xhc-CBb8vqAIkX97Bgg1Z02f1r9gQh9S3dOsVmAdob5jBbw8

4. VENMO OUR Venmo Name changed! Please take note!

VENMO is a Phone App or can be used on a PC or Tablet
You can download and install the Phone App from the Android Play Store or Apple App Store. There may be fees involved using this method.

Our NEW ID is: @NYCRetirees2

If you are on this list, it is because you subscribed to hear what we are doing as an organization that represents all NYC Municipal workers in protecting their Health benefits in retirement. Currently, we have a FACEBOOK page located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/888622578669131

If you are not on FACEBOOK, we will be updating you here. And Check our website for FAQ www.nycretirees.org
Thank you for signing up for our newsletter and pass this to a friend to sign up too!
.com%2Ficons%2Fsocial-block-v2%2Fcolor-facebook-48.png
himp.com%2Ficons%2Fsocial-block-v2%2Fcolor-link-48.png
=d41d8cd9-8f00-b204-1c44-ac0005016000&sig=ZGImogFY.png
cd9-8f00-b204-1c44-ac0005016000&sig=CBQkmirWXPLDBp.png
p.com%2Ficons%2Fsocial-block-v2%2Fcolor-twitter-48.png
Copyright © 2024 NYCRETIREES, All rights reserved.


Our DONATION mailing address is:
NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees
c/o JSH Accounting Services LLC
PO Box 143538
Fayetteville, GA 30214
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2024
Messages
1
Ah, the echoes of "if you like your plan" are hitting home again! It's like a broken record, right? Bait, switch, and the whole shebang. The frustration is real! I'm also wondering if ulcers are covered because this whole situation feels like a farce. On a related note, I stumbled upon this link: https://federal-lawyer.com/whistleblower-lawyers/doj/ - might offer some legal insights into the mix. Always good to stay informed!
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
1,003
This whole farce is the City's way of thanking you for years of hard work, injuries and illnesses and being a person with pride in your work. Now we'll kick you aside so we can continue to give free medical and credit cards to another group.
 
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
15,648
Saw this post on a Bayside QNS next door neighbor site,,,,,,

"RECENTLY MY HUSBAND'S TWO MDS A CARDIOLIST AND GI MD WHO ARE FROM NY HOSPITAL QUEENS DISENROLL FROM AETNA MA. HAS ANY ONE HAD THEIR MD'S DISENROLL FROM THEIR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN. MY 1199 PLAN IS MAP FOR HOSPITAL WORKERS. HAS ANY HAD A SIMILIAR PROBLEM WITH AETNA OR NY HOSPITAL QUEENS MD'S. PLEASE WRITE AND CAN ANYONE GIVE A RECOMMENDATION FOR A HEART AND GI MD NOW MY HUSBAND NEEDS TO GET NEW DOCTORS"
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
1,013
Saw this post on a Bayside QNS next door neighbor site,,,,,,

"RECENTLY MY HUSBAND'S TWO MDS A CARDIOLIST AND GI MD WHO ARE FROM NY HOSPITAL QUEENS DISENROLL FROM AETNA MA. HAS ANY ONE HAD THEIR MD'S DISENROLL FROM THEIR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN. MY 1199 PLAN IS MAP FOR HOSPITAL WORKERS. HAS ANY HAD A SIMILIAR PROBLEM WITH AETNA OR NY HOSPITAL QUEENS MD'S. PLEASE WRITE AND CAN ANYONE GIVE A RECOMMENDATION FOR A HEART AND GI MD NOW MY HUSBAND NEEDS TO GET NEW DOCTORS"
Sorry to hear about this. The President and Congress voted for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and it looks like it is working perfectly'
Consider the British National Health Service where seven million citizens are waiting for health care and dentists no longer take new patients.

And it's is not going to get better. Consider this;

 
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
15,648
Subject: RPEA Update: April 15 Rally to Keep Retiree Benefits-Call Your Legislators

RPEA_FinalLogo_Vectors.png

RPEA members from the Capital District are joining New York City retirees at the Capitol for a rally at 1:00 in support of a bill to protect the diminution of health insurance benefits. The bill, known as the Health Equity for Retirees Act (S.8388-A Harckham/A.7866-A Zebrowski) would prevent public employers from diminishing health insurance benefits below the level in effect as of November 1, 2022. To read RPEA’s memo in support CLICK HERE.

For those unable to attend in person, you can participate by calling your state legislator on the 15th urging that the bill be passed. Here is a suggested message. For your Senator, reference bill number S.8388-A Harckham. For your Assembly Member, reference bill number A.7866-A Zebrowski.

Suggested Message
Hi. I’m (NAME) from (LOCATION), a constituent. I’m calling in support of a rally today urging the passage of (SENATE/ASSEMBLY BILL #). As a public sector retiree, I can’t have my health benefits reduced. This bill would keep in place the benefits I already have. I worked my whole career in public service with the expectation that once I retired, my health benefits would remain intact.

For a list of Senate and Assembly co-sponsors CLICK HERE. Then continue to option 1 or 2.

Option 1: I see that Senator (NAME)/Assembly Member (NAME) is not a co-sponsor. I would like him/her to sign on, support the bill, and push for its passage this session. I’m counting on your support because nothing is more important to retirees than keeping our health benefits. Please let me know what you decide on this bill, it’s important. Thank you.

Option 2: I see that Senator (NAME)/Assembly Member (NAME) is a co-sponsor of the bill. THANK YOU. I hope this its passage this session is a priority, because nothing is more important to retirees than keeping our health benefits. Thanks again for your support, and let’s get this passed.

To find your Senator: www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator
To find your Assembly Member: nyassembly.gov/mem/search/

Senate switchboard number: 518-455-2800
Assembly switchboard number: 518-455-4100

If you want to make a visit to the district office that is extremely effective. You could do it instead of making the call, or as a follow-up. Be sure to make an appointment. Note that during session, legislators are in Albany usually 3 days a week. Meeting with staff is fine.

Thank you in advance for participating. Together, we are stronger. RPEA makes that happen.

If you have any questions, give us a call.

RPEA Working For You!

Retired Public Employees Association | 165 Jordan Road, Troy, NY 12180
 
Top