Moving on to expanded public health care. Where is the AFT?

When the United States Supreme Court ruled this week for the third time against an attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act most observers saw this as the final nail in the Republican plan.

The Court vote was by the largest margin ever. 7-2. Even Justice Thomas voted against the Texas challenge.

What now?

Many progressives and health care advocates see this as an opportunity to move from the defense to the offense.

The goal is the end to private health care and private health insurance. Bernie Sanders calls it Medicare for All. But whatever the name, it would look like what we see in other industrialized nations. It would be some form of nationalized health care.

It is inexplicable why Randi Weingarten, the head of the second largest teachers union in the United States opposes Medicare for All.

The United Federation of Teachers, her New York affiliate, joined corporations and insurance companies in successfully opposing a recent New York bill establishing a single-payer health care system in the state.

We now learn that the UFT leader Michael Mulgrew has been working secretly to move teacher retirees, current and future, into a private insurance Medicare Advantage plan and out of a state plan.

Weingarten and Mulgrew’s argument against national health is that the union can bargain a better deal. But with millions out of work, with most states having right to work laws and only 10% of the work force in unions, this is a lousy argument.

And if moving New York Teachers to Medicare Advantage is such a good idea, why do it in secret?

As a retired Illinois teacher using Medicare/Medicare Advantage who has just had a major medical crisis, I dearly wish for a national public system with no insurance companies involved. And with doctors making decisions based on best practices and data. Not insurance companies concerned only with profits.

3 thoughts on “Moving on to expanded public health care. Where is the AFT?

  1. I’m astounded that they are messing around with retiree healthcare now. UFT, the NYC local, gets a big chunk, perhaps even a majority of its votes from retirees. Mulgrew even goes to Florida to campaign for retiree votes!

  2. I, for one, am turning down the teacher retirement health plan because it is a Medicare Advantage plan.

    Medicare Advantage costs the taxpayers more that traditional Medicare, and money that could be used to provide direct care is funneled into the pockets of washed-up celebrities and athletes to hawk their products. It’s no surprise that Medicare Advantage continues growing at our expense.

    The GOP’s insertion of Medicare Advantage is successfully weakening traditional Medicare. It all seems to be going to Newt Gingrich’s plan to let Medicare wither and die away.

  3. Fred, you might want to look into where the Biden administration is in regard to the Medicare privatization bomb Seema Verma left us with before departing the tRump WH.

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/03/13/advocates-sound-alarm-over-quiet-trump-era-move-could-further-privatize-medicare

    https://www.mossadams.com/articles/2021/01/geographic-direct-contracting-model

    The plan is to start pilot programs in 10 cities that will assign enrollees in traditional Medicare plans into private (for-profit and NFP) networks to manage their care. Seven of the ten cities are in red states. If that isn’t a Trojan horse to fully turn over Medicare to the greedsters. I don’t know what is.

    As far as the Biden Admin’s position on this, it’s been crickets.

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