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An Open Letter to Mayor de Blasio and the Municipal Labor Committee:

The Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations (COMRO) has learned that you are in the process of awarding a highly lucrative contract to a major health insurance company to take over administering health insurance for over 200,000 Medicare-eligible retirees effective this July 1. You released an RFP and have eliminated two of the four responders. Your technical committee is evaluating the two finalists and will shortly send their recommendations to you for a final vote.

Nowhere in this process have you consulted with the 200,000 people and their families to determine how it will help or harm us. Medicare Part B works very well for most of us. We contributed to Medicare during our years of employment with the tacit understanding that we will have the hard-earned entitlement when we turned 65. Now we are dependent on the kindness of strangers to maintain our health and wellbeing without additional cost. We are duly concerned that these types of managed care programs have a history of making it difficult to choose doctors and specialists by introducing bureaucratic hurdles.

The lack of transparency in your rush to change this program is both insulting and frightening to those of us who have collectively worked millions of years serving the people of New York City. How can we trust our very health to a backroom deal based on a dubious assumption of cost avoidance?

Before this contract is awarded, you must include actual Part B recipients in the evaluation process to ensure any change in Medicare Part B will not harm us.

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