Manhattan: The Daily News Got the Medicare Advantage Plan Wrong (“A New Roadmap,” April 1 editorial). You note the purported fact that Aetna for now “requires prior authorization for only about one-fifth of the procedures it typically performs.” This is a substantial reduction in services compared to traditional health insurance, which has very few and can be added on. Let’s be clear: prior authorizations will lead to refusals and delays in coverage that will be fatal to retirees.
The mayor’s administration unilaterally reports “facts” without verification. For example, the city reports that “88% of providers treating…retirees are part of the Aetna Medicare Advantage PPO plan network.” This dangerously misleading figure only means that 88% of current retired GHI/EBCBS physicians are part of the Aetna network rather than identify the number of physicians in America. Creative accounting omits that as retirees need more care, they will need more doctors.
Vulnerable retirees who reside in continuing care retirement communities that refuse to accept Medicare Advantage plans, and those who receive home health care through Medicaid long-term care programs will lose their care. Retirees will have to leave their homes and people on Medicaid will be stuck in bureaucracy.
We believe that any negative consequences are too much. City Hall can fix it. Pass our simple legislation that says the city will offer retirees at least one Medigap plan with benefits equivalent to what they’ve had for decades.
A promise is a promise: Retirees have been promised traditional health insurance and instead get ripped off with an inferior health care plan. Marianne Pizzitola, President of the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees and FDNY EMS Retirees
Manhattan: Regrettably City Council members Shaun Abreu and Kevin Riley (“Lawyers for the Poor Must Be Paid,” April 6 op-ed) address the serious issue of the right to counsel in Housing Court with political rhetoric instead of a real solution that as elected officials they have the power to enact. Abreu and Riley are expected to immediately introduce a bill that would change an existing law to allow the Housing Court to assign private practice attorneys to tenants’ cases when legal aid attorneys are unavailable. Existing law already allows the city to pay private attorneys an hourly rate to provide legal representation in criminal and family matters when public defenders are unavailable. This would significantly expand the pool of Housing Court lawyers, which would help reduce the backlog of cases, resolve tenant-landlord issues and keep tenants in their homes. Joseph Strasbourg, President, Rent Stabilization Association
Yonkers: Kudos to New York’s Finest for quickly tracking down and apprehending Devin Spraggins for attempting to kill one of their members (“Bust in cop shoot,” April 8). Too bad that bastard didn’t take a few bullets in the ass while fleeing the crime scene. The coward ran, but he couldn’t hide and disguise himself despite his changes of clothes and haircut. Frank Brady
Freeport, LI. : After reading your editorial “Blue Wall, Green Dollars” (April 7), I have to question the intent of the Daily News editorial board. Aside from the vaguely accusatory headline, I have to ask: what was the objection to when, in its own pages, the Daily News complained about the quality of policing on the streets of New York? Given that police officers in New York already make less money than those in surrounding communities, does the Daily News want a second-rate police force? Does he want recruits who take the job because they are not qualified enough for others? The rest of New York is well aware that you have to pay for quality, which seems to have eluded the Daily News Editorial Board. And by the way, the fact that the Daily News considers bike lane violations not a major problem in present-day New York as it publishes a daily litany of stabbings, murders and kidnappings makes me makes me wonder if any members are over 19. in body or mind. Mike Duff
Bronx: What are those baseball players wearing long chains and earrings? Are they going to a baseball game or a nightclub? It’s a shame for the game. Ralph Canzone Sr.
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Yorktown Heights, NY: How exciting and thrilling it was to watch the NCAA women’s and men’s basketball seasons and tournaments! Having recently retired, it was a pleasure for my husband and I to spend our free time clapping. We found friends who also enjoyed women’s basketball as we have over the years. I don’t want this wonderful season to be ruined by gossip and the like. After talking with my daughter, a former Division 1 basketball All-Star, I agreed with her that I didn’t like the animosity that showed up in the last game. Yet many of us don’t understand the journey of some talented players, as described by LSU All-Star Angel Reese. LSU coach Kim Mulvey hoped her outfit would draw more people into this women’s basketball circle. Our women (college and pro) need better benefits. Rivalries and a larger audience will help do that. Mary Courtney
Brooklyn: The focus of the Tennessee legislature meeting should have been on the Nashville school shooting investigation. Those who were killed by that school shooter aren’t killed anymore. Lawmakers should have stood up to press on an accountability issue, not chased after their 15 minutes of fame. As so-called elected adult leaders, they showed the young people of this country how to act. Shame on them, they were elected to a position of trust. I did not see the reason for this chaotic display. Sharon Cesario
Kew Gardens: The Tennessee legislature expelled two of its representatives for breach of decorum. Yet the United States House of Representatives will not expel George Santos, who has done much worse. His fraudulent presence in the House is in itself a breach of decorum. Glenn Hayes
East Meadow, LI: If anyone ever wanted to know how Hitler and the Nazi Party were able to consolidate their power, all you have to do is look at what the Republicans are doing in Tennessee and Florida. Richard Skibins
Hopewell Junction, NY: If an adult wants to change sex, so be it. It’s fine with me and I have no problems. Go live your life. If a biological male wants to dress like a woman and pretend to be a woman, that’s his business. If he wants me to pretend to be a woman, well, that’s my business. Freddy Sacco
Arlington, Va. : Re “Pay Employee Wages, Not Tips” (ed., April 5): Saru Jayaraman ignores the real impacts of New York City’s tip credit elimination on employees at tip restaurants. In fact, thousands of tipping employees, many in New York City, have opposed Jayaraman’s plea for years. His organization’s bill to end tip credit would turn a lucrative position into a steady job at minimum wage. New York City tipped restaurant workers already report earning up to $25 an hour. But economists at Cornell University and the US Census Bureau find that when tip credits are reduced, tip percentages also decrease. It takes money straight out of the pockets of restaurant workers, not to mention the other consequences of lost jobs or closed restaurants. One Fair Wage’s track record of celebrity campaigns to eliminate New York’s tip credit has failed time and time again because restaurant workers are leading the charge to save it. This time should be no different. Michael Saltsman, Executive Director, Employment Policy Institute
Brooklyn: It seems that, contrary to what we’ve heard time and time again, there is a group of people who are above the law: the Supreme Court of the United States. june lowe