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Retired City Workers Hold Largest Medicare Advantage Protest to Date

By Indypendent Staff Apr 13, 2023

Retired city workers have been protesting mayoral plans to hand over their health-care coverage to privately run Medicare Advantage for the past two years. They have notched victories in court and at the City Council, which refused to do Mayor Eric Adams’s bidding after facing searing protests from the retirees. 

On March 30, Adams announced he was unilaterally moving all 250,000 retired city workers to a Medicare Advantage plan run by private insurance giant Aetna.  

“This is a heartbreaking situation,” @alexaforcouncil told more than 200 retired city workers who rallied in front of City Hall the very next day, many of whom were retired public-school teachers and CUNY professors affiliated with the Cross-Union Retirees Organizing Committee

On Tuesday, more than 500 retirees turned out for another demonstration outside City Hall. This one was called by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees and drew a number of retirees from the uniformed services.

“We did our part and now the City doesn’t want to do its part,” said retired NYC firefighter Dominic Cassase, who noted that city workers took smaller pay raises during their career in return for better retiree health care. 

Tuesday’s municipal retiree demonstration was the largest to date. With the switch to Medicare Advantage and Aetna set to take effect on Sept. 1, look for larger and more vocal protests still to come. 

Videos

Municipal retirees speak out on April 11.
Interview with retired firefighter Dominic Cassase at April 11 rally.

March 31  

City Councilmember Alexa Aviles addresses retirees.

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