Guest post by Anna Belfiore-Delfaus
As a New York City public school teacher, I want to sound the alarm. Socialism is on the horizon in New York City and its retirees are set to feel the burn.
Universal healthcare is on the docket. Bill A10425 is before the NY State Assembly. If it passes, New York City retirees in the DOE, NYPD, FDNY, DSNY, and NYC Department of Correction will be forced to comply with unfavorable changes to their healthcare.
The Assembly, City Council, and New York City Mayor Adams are threatening retirees with a Medicare Advantage Plus if the City Council doesn't come up with a feasible game plan by the end of the week.
City employees have had to deal with subpar union representation when it comes to contractual negotiations. I have seen first hand how Michael Mulgrew (UFT leader) is ineffective and weak pertaining to contract negotiations and defending his teachers. The UFT might be one of the most corrupt unions to date.
One blatant example is teachers dealing with 1% salary increases, barely enough to satisfy the cost of living in New York City. Mulgrew has been wishy-washy, seemingly in an attempt to not ruffle feathers with the Democrats and also give the impression of looking after the teachers. More than mealy mouth talk is required.
Elderly retirees, after a lifetime dedicated to service, will have to give up their doctors, scramble to find new ones, and be put at gratuitous risk. Especially if they suffer from long term or chronic health issues.
A NY Times article published earlier this month states, "Tens of thousands of people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans nationwide are denied necessary medical care that would likely have been covered were they enrolled in traditional Medicare." These are employees that have paid endless dues to their unions only to be thrown under the bus in typical New York City fashion. One retiree states, "It has been a long difficult road for me to get my diabetes under control and to find a doctor that works well with me, only to now possibly lose this doctor because of me being forced to switch health insurance. It's insane and a slap in the face to all of us who worked for this City."
The city will save $600 million dollars by dipping into federal subsidies. However, the price of premiums will skyrocket for the city employees. Yearly premium contributions for a city employee will be $1,500. For a city worker making $30,000, this is a significant loss of wages. These changes will trickle down to current employees, as is the ultimate plan.
Some retirees who have given decades of service to the city of New York in various agencies including the Department of Education told The Manhattan that healthcare was an important benefit promised to union workers in lieu of a larger private sector salary, and they now feel betrayed. Union leaders are actively working to brainwash their members to allow city council to amend 12-126.
New York City Mayor Adams is spearheading the change to healthcare. He insists that the change be made and be made now.
Mayor Adams, do you forget you were once NYPD and this will negatively impact your former colleagues? How can decisions be continually made that harm the working class; we’re what keeps the city afloat. The Mayor, along with other elected officials, stresses that the city is in dire financial straits and this is one way to alleviate the burden.
Why not investigate other ways to correct the financial bleed of this city rather than punish and repel the very people who are the backbone and tax-base?
There are currently more than 300,000 retired city employees who have paid fortunes in union dues. Yet, the unions are failing to step in. Why? Because they donate largely to Democrat candidates and causes and are now in a pickle whereby they can’t protect the people they’re meant to protect lest they face Democrat elected officials’ ire.
The healthcare change was given a test run in February, 2022. 45,000 retirees opted to pay for their current benefits rather than switch to plans in order to keep their own doctors, at a fee of $191 a month. That may seem insignificant but annually, per person, it's nearly $2,400 dollars, not including copays and medicine.
The Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) failed to negotiate in the best interest of the retirees when it came to the Medicare Advantage Plus Plan. In fact, Mayor Adams and his appointee for commissioner of the Office of Employee Relations, Rene Campion, celebrate that there has been scarce resistance from leadership.
This socialist plan was dreamed up by de Blasio and has finally made it to legislation. Just five days after Mayor Adams had initially announced the forthcoming changes back in February, 2022, approximately 3,200 retirees submitted opt out requests with almost 1000 filings on February 9th alone, according to the Daily News.
A10425 is marketed as trading oranges for oranges and that the retirees will have comparable health care coverage under the switch. However, we’ve been down this road before. Remember when Obama pulled the bait and switch issuing these infamous words which turned out to be a lie; “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."
New York City is broke because Democrats have run it into the ground with woke, experimental policies that have become financial boondoggles. To continue the charade, they double down on failure; they must generate more money to fund “really make it work” because no amount is ever enough. As a result, they look to screw the middle class whom they expect to carry the financial dereliction of one party Democrat rule rather than reconcile the budget in common sense ways.
City workers are committed to service; it’s why they got involved in the first place. Mayor Adams’ plan will backfire like so much else and push people who might be apolitical to the Right.
Twitter: Anna Belfiore-Deflaus @AnnaBD4NYC
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