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On Medicare, ‘advantage’ is a fiction


To the editor:

It is no secret that retirees, like myself, are upset by the coordinated plan of the city and the Municipal Labor Committee to force us into privately-run Medicare Advantage. Everyone has correctly pointed out the drawbacks to private vs public Medicare — preauthorization for medical procedures, life-threatening delays for approvals and potential loss of participating physicians. What few have mentioned is the long term danger posed by further privatization of this vital system.

According to the independent Kaiser Family Foundation, 48 percent of the nation’s 58.6 million seniors on Medicare in 2022 have an MA plan and those are projected to be the majority providers this year. By examining health care pre-Obama Care, we know what happens to patient care when private insurers are the only game in town. Delays in care, premiums and the number of uninsured all grow, covered services drop and people die.

The proposed switch from Medicare plus Senior Care to Aetna MA will not only affect retirees.  As government-run health care shrinks, all health insurance will suffer due to a lack of real competition.  

I know there are those who think government-run equates to poorly run. If you are one of those folks, I suggest you mail a first-class letter using FedEx, DHL or UPS and see what you get for the cost of a stamp.

I believe the projected savings — $600 million annually — being dangled in front of the city and the MLC will all vanish once MA has cornered the market. Also, non-MA insurance costs for current workers will skyrocket, wiping out any short-term savings. What will the city and the MLC do then?

Joseph Cannisi


3 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Admin

    Superb! Plus there is no way Adams can claim he can't find $600 million a year in a $102.7 billion dollar budget

    Thursday, March 23, 2023 Report this

  • josmtd

    We retirees worked for the City as public servants and many of us had responsibilities that far exceeded the remuneration we accepted, because we were guaranteed certain retiree benefits. Those benefits were even codified in municipal law. It is beyond unfair that those benefits are being taken from us in order to fund past and current labor contracts. All current City employees and union members should note that they are next when they come of age. If their unions are allowed to sell out retirees now, their turn will surely come.

    Rich Paolino

    Saturday, March 25, 2023 Report this

  • namrogm

    Thanks, Joseph. I figure my wife and I may have to pay $10,000 each per year (which we cannot afford) to keep original medicare and get decent medigap insurance. I'll have to keep working part-time forever. It's going to be like Hank Williams sang regarding his worn out shoes: Brother if I stepped on a worn-out dime I bet a nickel I could tell you if it was heads or tails . . . I'll never get out of this world alive!

    Wednesday, March 29, 2023 Report this