It seems strange that Michael Mulgrew continues to attempt to ram through Medicare Advantage (Mulgrewcare) after two courts with six judges ruled that it is illegal to charge premiums to NYC municipal retirees who want to stay on traditional public Medicare. Daniel Alicea over at Educators of NYC has done some research along with Illinois retired teacher unionist Fred Klonsky to show that privatizing Medicare to get the insurance companies richer is not just a local issue but NYC is up against a huge, national Medicare privatization push that the AFT endorses.
From Fred's Substack:
Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers is among those pushing for New York public employees, including retired public school teachers, into the for-profit private insurance plan that is supposed to cover what regular Medicare does not.
Medicare Advantage plans have come under greater scrutiny and criticism in recent years for over-charging the government and denying coverage for medically necessary treatments.
When MA programs came on the market they were sold as a way to save government money. Now they do just the opposite.
But is Mulgrew and the UFT leadership acting alone or are they pursuing a large agenda of their parent union, the American Federation of Teachers and its president, Randi Weingarten?
Daniel Alicea has looked up Randi's 2019 position and noticed a change came about by 2020.
Randi in Politico, August 2019 endorsing single-payer Medicare for All:
“Wouldn’t it be great if we had a single, universal access point for health care and we could instead spend our time bargaining for lower class sizes and wrap around services and increases to people’s pay?” said Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, which endorsed Medicare for All earlier this year. “Wouldn’t it be great it if it wasn’t always dominated by health care fights?”
Randi then flip-flops and this is the AFT's 2020 position:
RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will work to achieve universal coverage by the year 2025, whether through single payer or private insurance with a public option, so that all patients have coverage for timely access to the care they need, treating healthcare as a public good, and will consider a different payment system model that promotes value and coordination in care delivery; and...
Notice how private insurance is part of the AFT mix now. I don't think Randi was ever passionate about Medicare for All but the 2020 resolution mixing in public and private fits right in with what the Municipal Labor Committee is attempting to do here in NYC by privatizing retiree Medicare.
To move this up two years, this is from libertarian Mike Antonucci's report on the 2022 AFT Convention:
A committee did not concur with a resolution to oppose the privatization of Medicare, for reasons I can only assume are related to the UFT’s involvement in moving retired New York City teachers into Medicare Advantage plans.
A major problem with this policy is there is a major inconsistency when it comes to privatizing healthcare but not schools. How are the unions going to oppose the privatization of public education through charter schools and vouchers when we are supporting privatization in retiree healthcare through Medicare Advantage?