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Statement from James Davis, President of the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY

Statement on Mayor Adams’ Decision to Sign New Aetna Medicare Advantage Contract

Mar 31, 2023

“Mayor Adams missed an opportunity to honor the City’s most essential promise to retirees when he signed the Medicare Advantage contract between the City and Aetna. He had the option to continue traditional Medicare with high quality, premium-free Medicare supplemental insurance (Senior Care), while still saving the City more than $300 million annually. But he chose not to do so. And now, as we fight on for retirees, we note Commissioner Campion’s communication to Municipal Labor Committee leaders that legislation, litigation or “some other event” could still compel the City to offer retirees the choice of traditional Medicare plus premium-free Medicare supplemental insurance.

The City’s current approach to funding healthcare is flawed, and Medicare Advantage does not offer a permanent solution. Rising hospital and prescription drug costs mean Medicare Advantage will not solve the funding shortfalls. Public-sector workers—active and retired–should oppose further privatization of our health care and erosion of benefits. Hospital price controls, self-insurance, cooperative drug purchasing, accountability mechanisms for insurance companies, and other cost-savings measures that are proving effective in other municipalities must be pursued here.”

Published: March 31, 2023

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