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HOMELESS AND HOUSING RECAP FOR JANUARY 3, 2022

(MSCC) Sharon Jasprizza, February 2, 2023

SUMMARY

NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees opposing legislation to amend Admin. Code section 12-126. Nicole Krishtul, (Housing Organizer for New York City Comptroller Office), Good Cause Eviction Bill. Katy Lasell, Right to Counsel NYC Coalition. HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND THE BIGGEST TRANSFER OF WEALTH FROM REGULAR PEOPLE TO RICH EXECUTIVES AND ALREADY RICH SHAREHOLDERS with Wendel Potter, Analyst at The Center for Public Integrity and president of Wendell Potter Consulting. Author, Healthcare Activist, Advocate, and journalist.

CHAIR: John Mudd

WELCOME 

John Mudd (MSCC) outlined the purpose of the meeting and discussed the future of the Health Committee Meeting and how it may operate in the future

DECEMBER (2022) HIGHLIGHTS

  • The MSCC progress updates can be found at midtownsouthcc.org. The following are some of the highlights for December 2022 only.
  • MSCC gave their testimonial withThe Coalition Against Illegal Hotels at the virtual public hearing on Monday, December 5, on proposed rules to implement Local Law 18 of 2022, which requires short-term rental hosts to register with the City and prohibits booking services like Airbnb from processing
    • The law is effective on January 10, 2023
  • John Mudd, Rob Robinson, and Ted Houghton (MSCC) presented on December 7, 2022, at the Taproot Panel discussing Housing insecurity challenges, community-driven solutions, and needs for skills-based volunteers. Taproot Plus is a program of the Taproot Foundation, a US-based nonprofit that connects nonprofits with experienced business professionals
  • MSCC’s implementation of a robust advocacy program to educate others about private investors’ takeover of traditional Medicare is expanding, with more advocates and groups coming on board. The goal is to build a coalition with a culture of advocacy to educate the public about the disadvantages of Medicare Advantage programs and ensure policymakers at all levels of government understand the consequences of contracting with profiteers and the subsequent effects on people’s health care and commit to investing in affordable and equitable healthcare for all

POLICY MEETING UPDATES

The following is a summary of the 8:30 Homeless and Housing Policy held before this meeting

  • Sue Ellen Dodell (NYC Org. of Public Service Retirees), nycretirees.org, a Bill will be introduced in the City Council tomorrow, putting workers into Medicare Advantage plans. On January 9th, there will be a rally at City Hall at 9 am in advance of a 10 am meeting of the Civil Service and Labor Committee. We need people to protest an hour earlier at 9.00 AM, contact your council members to protect the current law because it protects the healthcare of retirees and current city employees. The mayor is threatening Council members with loss of funds and running people against them. This needs to be countered by us. We also will be at the Council meeting on January 19
  • Sarah Shapiro (Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee), Join retirees fighting to keep their traditional Medicare tomorrow at 11:00 at City Hall to let the City Council members know that retirees are against the proposed legislation to amend Admin. Code 12-126 protects 250,000 retirees’ health benefits

CHATBOX

  • Sue Ellen Dodell (NYC Org. of Public Service Retirees) suggested the following script for your emails and calls to Council members: Please oppose any legislation to amend Admin. Code section 12-126. The Council should not participate in this illegal effort to force Medicare Advantage on retirees. Martin Scheinman issued a non-binding and untimely recommendation on Admin. Code Section 12-126 does not require the Mayor or the Council to do anything. There is no “deadline” for the Council to act, and nothing has been “imposed” by an arbitrator. It is not true that changing the Admin. Code is required to give retirees “choice.”  We need to keep 12-126 to retain the healthcare choices that retirees and employees have had for over 50 years.

ACTIONS

Attend the rally on Monday, January 9, at the Gate of City Hall on Broadway 

SPECIAL INTRODUCTION

Daniel Pichinson, Executive Director, Ryan Chelsea Clinton: In the Hells’ Kitchen Neighborhood, many asylum seekers are placed in the many hotels in Midtown,. Asylum seekers have access to Medicaid but no other social services. Many have walked 4,000 or 5,000 miles; Ryan Chelsea has registered 800 people in the last three months

Many are not used to the NY winter and do not have coats. Ryan Chelsea has done a coat drive. The system is strained

Alex YongWSNA NYC, Member of the End Apartment Warehousing Coalition alex.yong.nyc@gmail.com, Intro 1995 now has the support of 26 Council Members, including the speaker, Adrian Adams. Please review the following:

  • Facebook page (anti-warehousing measure) https://Facebook.com/EndApartmentWarehousing and Intro 195: https://Facebook.com/hashtag/Intro195
  • Email the author of Intro 195: schiera@communitiesresist.org
  • Email Alex for more info for Intro 195

Nicole Krishtul, (Housing Organizer for New York City Comptroller Office), nkrisht@comptroller.nyc.gov, Comptroller.nyc.gov, https://housingjusticeforall.org/. Held a conference a few weeks ago with the Faith-Based Housing Justice Center to bring people together on housing. 

  • Five policy proposals are
    • Passing the Good Cause Eviction Bill (rents have seen hikes of 30% or more) 
    • Passing HABP for the housing access program 
    • Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) allows tenants to purchase a rental building for sale and financial support.  “Goals for TOPA
    • Neighborhood stabilization – tenants can stay in their neighborhood instead of being displaced when a building is sold
    • Permanently affordable housing creation – makes it easier for non-profit mission-driven developers, including CLTs, to acquire and preserve buildings and expand the stock of permanently affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods
    • Homeownership opportunities – tenants have the opportunity to create
    • limited-equity co-ops through this program” https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/FMfcgzGrbvGPZMPdfwDtqddLVvfPcbzj?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1
    • Housing Justice for All wants to assess what a fair rent increase is across the city
    • Building a bold new vision for housing so Housing Justice for All is proposing the creation of Social Housing Development Authority, a statewide agency with the power to build and preserve deeply affordable housing 

DISCUSSION

  • Charisma White (MSCC), what does deeply affordable housing mean, how long will this take, and what locations are you looking at
  • Nicole Krishtul (Housing Organizer for New York City Comptroller Office), tenants have the opportunity to buy their housing, and fair distribution of housing is a focal point
  • John Mudd, MSCC, will include Charisma White’s questions on the February 7 Housing Meeting Agenda
  • Tito, (MSCC Community Member), please consider Community Land Trusts as a solution

ACTIONS

  • Sign-on Letter is at hj4a.org/faith supporting “Housing Justice for All’s Our Homes, Our Power campaign in 2023! With New Yorkers facing a housing crisis of historic proportions, tenants and homeless New Yorkers are coming together to demand that Albany fundamentally transform our housing system to ensure everybody in New York can afford a safe and decent home and have the power to fight exploitative landlords and unsafe living conditions” Please sign on to this letter to voice your support as a faith leader in New York State! 
  • Contact your New York State elected officials to sign onto TOPA (s.3157/A.5971)
  • Learn more about TOPA, and join the statewide TOPA working group at https://nyccli.org/topa/
  • Email Elise Goldin, CLT Organizer at New Economy Project, to get involved or request a workshop: elise@neweconomynyc.org
  • John Mudd, MSCC, will speak with Charisma and Nicole about Charisma’s questions for the February agenda 
  • Nicole Krishtul, NYC Comptroller, Marni, I’ll check in with our folks on Urstadt – but my guess is we’d absolutely love to have more local-level control without needing to rely on state legislation

CHATBOX

  • Milton Perez, VOCAL NY, Good Cause, H.A.V.P, TOPA. Albany Jan 10, Fight, Housing is a Human Right
  • Siya Hegde, The Bronx Defenders, Great recap of that 5-bill platform, Nicole – thank you for that!
  • Nicole Krishtul , NYC Comptroller, We support bills like Land Bank and Public Disposition to help develop more Community Land Trusts!
  • Lili Lopez NY Connects Outreach Specialist 646-457-5364 llopez@cidny.org NY Connects a free-of-charge program that connects people with any disability, any age to services, resources, or it can be based on people’s needs.  Contact us at 844-862-7930
  • Tamara Felix, Community Affairs Coordinator, Manhattan Outreach Consortium, Tamara.felix@cucs.org
  • Marni Halasa, MSCC, What about repealing the Urstadt Law, so the city and the Council would have more control over housing than the state – would the Comptroller explore this issue? Many say much more powerful than focusing on policies like Good Cause Eviction. Think people looking for elected officials to seek out more powerful and real solutions
  • Brian Lafferty, MBP Mark Levine’s Office, Community Liaison to Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 from Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine’s Office, here. Please reach out to me with any questions or concerns at 929-510-6740 and blafferty@manhattanbp.nyc.gov
  • Alex Yong, WSNA, full disclosure: I’ve benefited personally from Right To Counsel. It’s fabulous.

THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL

Katy Lasell, Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, campaign organizer, social worker, and educator based in Brooklyn, lobbying for single-payer healthcare and in local struggles against neighborhood rezonings, gentrification, and in housing justice coalitions. Katy@righttocounselnyc.org, 617 645 5122, view Statewide RTC Presentation Slides

  • Right to Counsel NYC Coalition was formed in 2014. It is a tenant-led coalition with advocates from legal services and more. The Coalition was formed to transform housing courts, prevent displacement, and stop the eviction crisis which continues to threaten all of us and our families
  • In 2017, after a 3-year grassroots campaign, won the first-ever right to counsel in eviction proceedings in the country in NYC. After this historic victory, the Coalition launched 2020; the Housing Courts Must Change Campaign. It is a statewide campaign to transform the courts from an “eviction machine” to a place that holds landlords accountable, upholds tenants’ rights, and enables tenants to remain in their homes. During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, our goals include slowing eviction cases and expanding the Right to Counsel across the state. Hence, ALL tenants know their rights and are emboldened to organize and fight to stop evictions. 
  • There are 2 Bills at the State level.
    • We’re calling on NY State to pass a Winter EvictionMoratorium(bill number forthcoming) to ban evictions during winter and to keep New Yorkers in their homes and out of the cold 
    • Prevent Landlords from suing for evictions if they have outstanding violations in the building or the tenant’s apartment
    • The Right to Council:
      • extends the current right to a lawyer when facing eviction and applies to people 200% or less of the federal poverty line, and applies to all tenants facing eviction
      • the right to take the Landlord to court if repairs are not done
      • addresses rights because the court administration is unaccountable to the NYS court system. Thus, need to legislate that courts uphold tenants’ rights. Many Courts facilitate evictions
  • The crisis looks like; 270,000 evictions currently, 92,000 New Yorkers experiencing homelessness (official count and thus is higher than this), landlords initiate the majority of cases, almost landlords have a lawyer, tenants do not, 2021 even with a blanket moratorium upon evictions there were 5,229 eviction warrants were issued across NYS, in 2022 nearly 44,000 eviction warrants issued in city and district courts across the state
  • The Right to Counsel keeps people in their homes. In NYS, 86% of people with the right to counsel have won their cases and remained in their homes, evictions dropped, and landlords are suing less
  • The Right to Counsel changes the power between tenants and landlords and disrupts the business model by keeping people in their homes
  • The Right to Counsel supports minority groups 
  • The Right to Counsel saves money because shelters and homelessness cost money
  • A study in 2022 proved that for every $ invested in the Right to Counsel, NYS saves $3 – $ 6 in the long term
  • The Coalition is also fighting to fund the Bill by asking the state for $172,000,000 in the 2024 fiscal year budget. Governor Hochul gave $600 million to Buffalo Bill Stadium, and we spend millions of dollars on shelters every year in NYC
  • This funding would also set up a new state agency to oversee all civil legal services in NYS, which would oversee Right to Counsel’s implementation

Right to Counsel Goals: https://www.righttocounselnyc.org/hcmc

  • No evictions for anyone across NY State.  
  • Close Housing Courts and before they reopen:
    • Ensure that everyone facing eviction has and knows about the Right to Counsel.  Slow down eviction cases to ensure that tenants are protected 
    • Hold landlords accountable
    • Prioritize health, safety, and accessibility.
    • Read more about our demands here

Right-to Counsel Demand: https://www.righttocounselnyc.org/hcmc

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened New York State’s eviction crisis. With more than 270,000 active eviction cases across the state, New York communities need long-term solutions that will keep them safe and securely housed. We’re calling on NY State to pass Statewide Right to Counsel(bill number forthcoming), so ALL tenants across New York State have the right to a lawyer when facing an eviction.
  • Learn more about our Statewide Right to Counsel campaign

Other information: https://www.righttocounselnyc.org/hcmc

  • Right to Counsel is proven to stop evictions, but many tenants need to learn they have the right to a free lawyer or are scared to exercise their rights. Everyone is eligible for the Right to Counsel and has a right to know about it! We’re urging the City to allocate $5 million of the NYC budget towards Local Law 53, so tenant organizers across NYC can work to ensure that tenants know about their Right to Counsel and can use it to stop evictions. $5 million would fund more than 40 tenant organizers across the City plus administrative and other associated costs. 
  • Learn more about our campaign to Fund Local Law 53. 
  • Earlier this year, two crucial pieces of legislation to expand and strengthen Right to Counsel for NYC tenants were signed into law!
  • Local Law 54, which went into effect on June 1st, accelerated the implementation of Right to Counsel by more than a year.
  • Local Law 53 goes into effect in November 2021 and requires the City to work with trusted tenant organizing groups to engage and educate tenants about their Right to Counsel

DISCUSSION

  • John Mudd, MSCC, referred to the budget in 2022 and this year’s ask. Katy referred to $35 million to upstate legal eviction defense for expanding tenants, intakes, and more lawyers. There is more money needed for a more comprehensive system. The $172 million this year is in addition to the $35 million
  • Leonard Polletta, Penn South LEAPS, Are the Working Families Party and the New York Progressive Action Network spreading the word about this coalition and the right to counsel? Katy asked to be connected to these groups
  • Carol Lamberg, who was once a small landlord,noted that there needs to be room for some people e.g., drug dealers, to be evicted. Katy says the Right to Counsel benefits all, and equity is provided in the Courts under this movement
  • Milton Perez, BxPR VOCAL NY, referred to the cases in NYC. Katy said the cases have piled up during the pandemic. There is a local campaign in the city to slow down the cases so that everyone has a right to counsel. Another issue in NYC is that the right to counsel needs to be fully funded. Thus, state funding needs to expand to enable robust right to counsel

CHATBOX

  • Sue Ellen Dodell: NYC Org. of Public Service Retirees, Email Carmen De La Rosa and tell her that you oppose her legislation permitting the City to put retirees into an Advantage Plan. CDeLaRosa@council.nyc.gov and Wendell, please consider submitting a written testimony for the upcoming City Council hearing on this awful bill that CM de la Rosa is planning to introduce
  • Lizette Colon, How do we call out this thievery supported by the mayor and top leaders of MLC w/o being chastised as anti-labor organizers? 
  • Sarah Shapiro, Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee, Retiree healthcare costs are only 6/10 of 1% of the city’s budget!
  • Sue Ellen Dodell, NYC Org. of Public Service Retirees, There are many ways to save the city money on health care which we’ve shared with the Council and the Mayor. We are in this situation now because the UFT took money from the City’s Health Stabilization Fund in 2014 and used it for raises for their members. As Wendell says, there are other options that don’t put retirees into an Advantage Plan

ACTIONS

  • Call Governor Hochul, and email NYS leadership, and your Assembly Member and Senator TODAY, to make sure they support this bill! Statewide Right to Counsel guarantees ALL New York State tenants the right to a lawyer when facing an eviction. Learn more at https://www.righttocounselnyc.org/statewidertc
  • Call NYS leadership & your State legislatorsand urge them to ensure the passage and full funding of Statewide RTC in the state budget! https://p2a.co/NAAL3Sa
  • Contact Katy Lasell for more information about the Winter Eviction Moratorium campaign: Evictions tear apart families and communities, resulting in homelessness, and can cause severe mental and physical health problems. Especially during the winter months, New Yorkers need stable housing to keep kids in school, protect them from infectious disease, and stay safe from the brutal cold.
  • The coalition has campaign meetings every Thursday; Please contact. Katy@righttocounselnyc.org and bring along neighbors
  • The coalition has a tool that Katy Lasell will demonstrate at the end of the meeting or later to leave a voice mail for the Governor and send emails to the leadership in the Senate and Assembly. This is important because the budget is coming out in a few weeks. Katy, in the Chatbox, notes the following: “The phone banking link. It’s super easy – it connects you to the right voicemail and provides a script, then you can send emails with the click of a button. If you could all take 5 minutes sometime today to take this simple step to support Right to Counsel at https://p2a.co/NAAL3Sa
  • Get on the Bus for Right to Counsel Council, Albany 2023. More info later

HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND THE BIGGEST TRANSFER OF WEALTH FROM REGULAR PEOPLE TO RICH EXECUTIVES AND ALREADY RICH SHAREHOLDERS

Wendel Potter, Analyst at The Center for Public Integrity and president of Wendell Potter Consulting. Author, Healthcare Activist, Advocate, and former journalist

  • Became a whistle-blower after being the VP of communications for Humana and Cigna because of the abuse by Wall Street investors of people needing health services
  • Book: How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff is about the secret language to sensualize, inflate and confuse with semantic nonsense. Medicare Advantage Companies use this language, and honest people must learn how this language is used
  • Masters of Propaganda! George C Halvorson, Institute Chair for Institute for Intergroup Understanding, posted on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/posts/george-c-halvorson-64454393_quality-people-activity-7014298186630529024-HSuz?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_ios the results of a JAMMA study, a multi-year study of Medicare Advantage. George said the data proves that Medicare Advantage is higher quality in all eight quality measures and 40 % lower death rate over four years compared to fee-for-service Medicare. This is propaganda:  JAMMA did not do the study, JAMMA is the publication, and the eight measures were chosen by people who worked for United Health, the largest private insurer in the country and the largest operator of Medicare Advantage Plans. The Conflict of Interest disclosures showed that the lead author Dr. Cohen, reported being a full-time employer, and owing stock in United Health Group. This was the same for other people involved in the research. Medicare Advantage companies use high-profile spokespeople like George C Halvorson, to make people believe it’s the truth and is not to be questioned
  • Medicare Advantage is not Medicare, nor is it an advantage. In 2003 during George W. Bush administration passed a Medicare Modernization Act, which created Part C in Medicare. Private insurance companies operate this private program; it is not Medicare. Medicare is involved only by shipping money to these big insurance companies. People are unaware of this because the advertisements are obscure
  • Prior authorizations problem: There are scant authorizations under MA plans; Medicare Advantage plans are between the patient and the doctor and often overrule the doctor. Most people don’t realize they have the option of appealing a denial. This unawareness is baked into the Medicare Advantage companies’ finances.  When people appeal, there is a high percentage that the patient will have the service approved
  • The network is limited, and thus, the client does not get the care because the available facilities are few and not consistently highly rated
  • It is not easy to switch back to Traditional Medicare. Often when people find they are in Medicare Advantage Plans, they find the restrictions do not easily allow transferring back to traditional Medicare
  • Traditional Medicare is not perfect and needs improvements. The program was created in the 1960s when the 80/20 rule applied, where insurers paid 80%, and the client paid 20%. This was not a big deal then because healthcare prices were much lower. Today, health services are more expensive
  • If people do not enroll in a Medicare Supplement Policy when they become eligible at 65, insurance companies will underwrite and people’s health status is assessed, and the cost will be much higher than enrolling in the Medicare Supplement Policy when people were eligible
  • Medicare Advantage is not Medicare; the name should not be used because of the confusion. A Bill was introduced last fall in Congress to prohibit the use of these names

“In reality, so-called ‘Medicare Advantage’ is neither Medicare nor an advantage.”

In a new Nation article written by health insurance reform advocate Wendell Potter, Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) contend that one of the most confusing things facing elders while choosing their Medicare plans “is a scheme by private insurance companies to prey on seniors and profit off of the Medicare brand, all in the name of padding their corporate profits and shareholder returns.” “The scheme is called Medicare Advantage. But in reality, so-called ‘Medicare Advantage’ is neither Medicare nor an advantage,” wrote the lawmakers, who introduced legislation that, if passed, would ban private insurance plans from using the Medicare name

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/12/13/scandals-mount-so-do-calls-abolish-private-medicare-advantage-plans
  • Medicare Advantage has become the big cash cow for these big companies
  • United Healthcare, the most significant healthcare company for the past ten years, has grown to be number 5 on Fortune Five; enrollment has been exclusively into the MA plans. Every single enrollee was in a government program. These companies have worked out how to game the system and manipulate the system to get over payments from the Federal  Government, which is our money
  • Last year The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), https://www.medicaleconomics.com/, which advises Congress on the Medicare Program, said that the Federal Government overpaid Medicare Advantage Plans $12 billion in 2022.  This is an indication of how much money is being paid by the Federal Government inappropriately and fraudulently to Medicare Advantage Plans 

DISCUSSION

  • John Mudd, MSCC, asked about the progress of the Bill to eliminate the use of the name “Medicare Advantage. Wendell Potter said the Bill would need to be reintroduced because of the change in the House leadership. Bernie Sanders is chairing a Health Education, Labor, and Pension Committee in the Senate
  • Sarah Shapiro, Cross-union Retirees Organizing Committee, crocnyc22@gmail.com, join retirees fighting to keep their traditional Medicare tomorrow at 11:00 at City Hall (Broadway and Park Place to let the City Council members know that retirees are against the proposed legislation to amend Admin. Code 12-126 protects 250,000 retirees’ health benefits. “VOTE NO to the amendment”
  • John Mudd, MSCC, please attend the MSCC Health Committee meetings
  • Leonard Polletta, Penn South LEAPS, One of the ways Medicare Advantage robs all of us is that it pays on a capital basis by incentivizing doctors to cut medical care because if they spend less than what the per capita is then the doctors can keep some of the excesses. The NPHP educates people about this also. Wendell Potter and MSCC work closely with NPHP. NPHP is part of MSCC Health. Committee
  • Colette Swietnicki was enrolled against her will into an AOC, a REACH Program, and notes it’s important to be educated and aware of the many schemes and fraudulent practices. Wendell Potter pointed out that employers across the country are also promised to save money by enrolling their employees into the Medicare Advantage Plans. Wendell Potter pointed out that the work MSCC is doing needs to morph into a national effort across the country. It’s possible that in 2023, more than half of Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans. We need to stop the train
  • Leonard Polletta, Penn South LEAPS, notes that Bernie Sanders talks about Medicare For All but does not discuss this privatization issue. Wendell Potter pointed out that Bernie Sanders gets it and will focus on exposing the Medicare Advantage Plan. Wendell works with Bernie and his staff to make sure this is part of his focus
  • Lizette Colen asks how we counter the narrative of our union leaders. Wendell Potter advises that union leaders must be in line with the needs and demands of their rank-and-file members. During the Presidential Primary season, Nevada asked members not to vote for people who were for Medicare for All. Union members disagreed, and Bernie Sanders won Nevada. Thus we must educate union leaders not to fall for the propaganda but to listen to the rank and file
  • Nancy Pascal, MSCC, says the Unions say they can’t afford it. Wendell Potter thinks they should look at what they are proposing. Unions have been very ineffective in negotiating. Benefit buy down (a measurement in the reduction of benefits paid by a plan) has been going on for a long time and has been at work where the value of your benefit plan is less than what it was ten years ago.  What are the solutions? 
  • Employers are starting to realize they don’t have to work with United Health etc. and are finding that there are options. In April 2021, Purchaser Business Group on Health (a purchaser-only coalition of the country’s largest and most influential private employers, https://www.pbgh.org/,  which represents Apple, Amazon, and big organizations, released a survey where the CEOs said the cost of health care would be unsustainable in 5 to 10 years. Small and medium employers are getting out of the game because of the expense. Wendell Potter leads an organization called Business Leaders for Healthcare Transformation, https://www.blhct.org/; “BLHCT is about fixing what’s broken. Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation is a coalition of business leaders, CEOs, entrepreneurs, sole proprietors, and concerned citizens who believe that the employer-based health insurance system is fundamentally broken and hinders American competitiveness. We have members from every state and nearly every industry in the country. Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation’s mission is to educate the public and the business community about the economic development potential of fixing our broken healthcare system”

ACTIONS

  • Marni Halasa, MSCC, please send your tweets, and Marni will retweet. Wendell referred to the interview he did with The Democracy Now Interview at https://www.democracynow.org/2022/10/12/medicare_advantage_program_healthcare_providers_unitedhealth. The video notes, “Many of the nation’s largest health insurance companies have made billions of dollars in profits by overbilling the U.S. government’s Medicare Advantage program. A New York Times investigation has revealed that under the Advantage program, health insurance companies are incentivized to make patients appear more ill than they are. Some estimates find it has cost the government between $12 billion and $25 billion in 2020 alone. We speak with former healthcare insurance executive Wendell Potter, now president ​​of the Center for Health and Democracy, who says Medicare Advantage will be recognized in years to come as the “biggest transfer of wealth” from taxpayers to corporate shareholders and blames the lack of regulation over the program on the “revolving door between private industry and government.” “
  • Wendell Potter says we must RESIST the call for “Medicare Advantage for All” promoted by George C Halvorson
  • John Mudd, MSCC, invited Lizette Colon to be on the Health Committee, and Lizette agreed
  • John Mudd, MSCC, spoke about the tools MSCC is working on for people to use to resist Medicare Advantage
  • Wendell Potter, says it is essential that our voices are heard: write letters to the editors, and members at all levels of government, post on social media

CHATBOX 

Nancy Pascal, MSCC, https://www.democracynow.org/2022/10/12/medicare_advantage_program_healthcare_providers_unitedhealth, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hjpq4FNuQA

and Katie Porter on Medicare Advantage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hjpq4FNuQA

https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/OEI-09-18-00260.pdf Report from US dept of Inspector General regarding Medicare Advantage

MIDTOWN DEVELOPMENT

Lawrence Wheatman,

  • The Empire State Coalition, the Coalition against the Vornado/ESD Development Raised $100,000 to fight Governor Hochul’s Penn Station Plan and the lack of due diligence. The Plan does not mention any of the Governor’s promises, e.g., a subway line to the Bronx, the complete renovation of Penn Station, and more
  • Filed a lawsuit against the governor, Vornado put a hold on Breaking Ground. Within hours the Head of Buildings resigned (relating to financial impropriety). Not sure if any of this is related to the lawsuit

PUBLIC CONCERNS

  • Guadalupe Fernandex-Soberon, lost her cityfheps voucher when Guadalupe was informed HRA of her husband’s death. As his widow, the voucher should have been transferred to Guadalupe. Guadalupe became aware through my landlord when he told me that cityfheps stopped payments. I believe this was an error and would like to have this corrected. guadalupefernandezsoberon@gmail.com, 7189267390. John Mudd emailed HRA about this issue and waiting for a reply. John will reach out to Erik and Levine’s office. Nancy Pascal posted in the Chatbox about NYC’s food stamp benefits failing to keep pace with demand. There is a hiring shortage at HRA. https://citylimits.org/2022/12/19/over-half-of-nycs-food-stamp-applicants-left-waiting-as-staffing-shortage-deepens/. Nancy is saying that vouchers are not being reinstated because of the lack of staff. The Landlord informed Guadalupe that she does not have a voucher anymore. Milton Perez said that HRA is in the process of hiring people. John Mudd will contact HRA for a follow-up. 

NEXT Meeting: Homeless and Housing Meeting: 9:30 AM Tuesday, February 7, 2022

Always the 1st Tuesday of every month

Contact hello@midtownsouthcc.org or john.mudd@usa.net for more information and Zoom invitations.