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UFT INCONSISTENCY ON PRIVATIZING SCHOOLS VS. HEALTHCARE COULD COME BACK TO BITE US
The UFT now supports the privatization of Medicare but not schools. Mulgrew's hypocrisy will make opposing charter school expansion that much more difficult under charter-friendly Mayor Adams.
This article was originally posted at: http://iceuftblog.blogspot.com/2023/01/uft-inconsistency-on-privatizating.html
The UFT is rallying us to fight against new Success Academy charter school colocations in NYC public school buildings. It is a worthy battle. We support the union's efforts to oppose charter colocations. We can stop Eva's expansion.
Charter schools are not public schools. This is from Forbes:
Charter schools could be operated by a locally elected board, but they almost never are. Instead, charter schools are owned and operated by private individuals or boards, sometimes located far away from the school itself. Sometimes control of the charter is separated from the community by a series of managerial handoffs–Group X technically owns and operates the charter, but they hire Corporation Y to actually run the school.
When municipal assets like water systems and parking facilities are handed off to private companies to run, we call it by its name–privatization. Turning a school over to a private company to own and operate is no different.
Charters are privately run. The UFT opposes their expansion into public school buildings where they take space away from public schools. This makes sense. So why not have the same policy when it comes to privatizing healthcare?
The vast majority of NYC public sector retirees age 65 and over get the bulk of their health insurance from federally administered public Medicare. However, Mayor Eric Adams and the Municipal Labor Committee (an umbrella group of City worker unions) want to save money by privatizing Medicare where they would push public sector retirees in NYC into a privately managed Medicare Advantage plan.
We’re pulling out all the stops. This Medicare legislative disaster about to happen in Washington is too important for us to just hope it goes away.
We need to do all we can — and we can do plenty — to save Medicare from the privateers.
The same is true in 2023. The battle now is in NYC. The New York City Council will decide this month if Mayor Adams and the MLC will be able to make private-for profit Aetna the default plan for NYC public sector retirees. Retirees would need to pay premiums to stay in traditional public Medicare. 250,000 retirees pushed into privatized Medicare would be a body blow for public Medicare.
Unity people today may tell you the current privatization plan is different from past schemes. The main difference looks to be that Medicare privatization is now favored by a Democratic administration in DC. Republican President Trump and Democrat Biden both support expanding privatized Medicare. That bipartisan DC consensus will not be easy to defeat but we must do all we can to save traditional Medicare.
Doctor James Fieseher summarizes how privatizing Medicare will end:
From its inception, Medicare has managed the health of seniors more effectively and efficiently than private insurers. Corporate greed and private investor are trying to sell us on the idea that inserting a middleman between the medical system and the government would somehow save taxpayer money.
There is no business model to support that idea and for good reason, adding more layers of administration adds costs, especially in health care. Don’t let Joe Namath and William Shatner tell you otherwise. Keep Medicare the way it was designed and don’t enroll in Advantage Plans, or we will lose Medicare altogether.
Don't let Michael Mulgrew or AFT President Randi Weingarten fool you either. Privatizing retiree healthcare in NYC is a terrible idea. It will most likely occur if Administrative Code 12-126 is changed by the City Council this month. We have to fight the change with everything we have.
The UFT now supports the privatization of Medicare but not schools.
Mulgrew's hypocrisy will make opposing charter school expansion that much more difficult under charter-friendly Mayor Adams. The inconsistency will be thrown in our faces.
Don't let it happen.
Keep public schools public; keep public Medicare public.
Call to Action
The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees shares the following alert:
Hearings are being planned for the 9th and 10th with a vote on the 19th.
You need to be ready to mobilize for all of those events.
We will keep you posted but please email CM DeLaRosa, Speaker Adams, and ALL council members to remind them that this is an anti-working family, anti-aging, harmful action and they should oppose it.
The MLC is lying about the impacts of the recent non-binding Scheinman opinion. The city council should use its power and block any attempt to eliminate promised health coverage for city workers and retirees. The code gives us all choice, now, and has for 55 years.
Here is a sample script you can use when contacting your city council member:
Hi! My name is_____________ and I am a retiree/ (if you are active/in-service say that!).
We want you to know the Scheinman report is NOT a “ruling”, it’s an opinion and IS NOT BINDING! It’s paid propaganda and they’re hoping the city council falls for it… it is not a decision, it is not a ruling, it is not an award!!
The retirees have identified at least $300 million in cost savings that offer an alternative solution for the city worker and retiree healthcare impasse.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) knows about some of these savings options, and has NOT implemented them NOR informed the city council… and OMB is unaware of others!
Which is worse? HOW CAN THE MAYOR OR THE COUNCIL MAKE A DECISION IF THEY ARE NOT BEING PROPERLY INFORMED BY OMB? DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE UNTIL ALL OPTIONS ARE EXPLORED!
Please reach out to the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees for real facts! The MLC doesn't want you to know they sold off ALL of our healthcare for raises! Yes, that includes you!
Please remember this as we go into the New Year.
Admin code 12-126 is what gives us choice and ensures we all have premium-free healthcare. Changing the code eliminates the choices and protections we’ve enjoyed for over 55 years.
Happy New Year AND DO NOT AMEND THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE 12-126!
Signed, YOUR NAME AND YEAR/AGENCY YOU RETIRED or WHERE YOU PRESENTLY WORK
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