We thank Comptroller Brad Lander for exercising the appropriate judgment and fulfilling his charter-mandated duty by refusing to register the Aetna Medicare Advantage contract. The Comptroller is well within his rights to question the City’s authority to force retirees out of traditional Medicare until it has been decided in court. The health and wellness of 250,000 municipal retirees and their dependents is at stake; waiting for the court to rule on the pending lawsuit just makes sense. CUNY retirees and active workers represented by the PSC have campaigned vigorously to protect access to traditional Medicare for municipal retirees. We share the concerns that Comptroller Lander has raised about the privatization of Medicare, overbilling by insurance companies, and barriers to care under Medicare Advantage. The modest wages City retirees earned during their public-service careers came with the expectation of guaranteed not-for-profit, Medicare-based healthcare coverage in retirement. Why is the mayor trying to break that compact?
We call on the Mayor to reverse his decision to end the City’s half-century commitment to cover a Medicare supplemental plan, a decision that will force many retirees out of traditional Medicare into privatized Medicare Advantage. The City should not take away traditional Medicare benefits, and certainly not before the present litigation is resolved.
Published: June 14, 2023