NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees Responds To City Council Decision to Table Healthcare Privatization
Edited by: TJVNews.com
On Thursday, January 19th, the New York City Council opted not to vote on the Mayor’s proposed legislation that would have authorized him to force elderly and disabled retirees into a Medicare Advantage plan by withdrawing funding for their existing health insurance. The New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees is extremely grateful to Speaker Adams, Civil Service and Labor Committee Chair Carmen De La Rosa, the Common Sense Caucus, and the Progressive Caucus.
Marianna Pizzitola, President of The New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees, released the following statement : “Retirees presented testimony for almost six hours at City Hall on Monday, January 9th explaining why Medicare Advantage poses a serious threat to their health. They also reminded the Council that this issue was already won in the courts and that retirees are not cash cows for the City. The recommendations made by Martin Scheinman are just that – recommendations. They are not legally binding, and the City is free to reject them.
I want to offer my thanks to all the members of the City Council who recognized that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) had failed to provide them with the facts necessary to take an informed vote. I also want to take a moment to recognize the hundreds of retirees who attended the public hearing, provided testimony, and fought tirelessly to defeat this program.
The Mayor must now decide whether he will continue to try to force retirees into Medicare Advantage through the more extreme—and unprecedented—step of taking away all of their other healthcare options. In the coming days, the New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees will be requesting meetings with the Mayor’s office and City Council to present alternative ways to achieve significant savings that do not involve denying retirees access to traditional Medicare and to pass our bill that will protect retirees from having to live in fear of their hard earned benefits being stripped away from them when needed most. The City Council sent a clear message, they were concerned what would happen to retirees if the Mayor took away their our healthcare choices. Passing a bill to truly give retirees that choice and protection will be consistent with their goals.”
Jake Gardener, counsel for the New York City Organization of Public Service Retirees, added: “If the City responds by denying retirees access to traditional Medicare—which no administration has ever done in the 56-year history of Medicare—retirees will once again seek judicial intervention to vindicate their healthcare rights.”