Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Retirees Being Swindled By UFT With Medicare Advantage Rollout

 I haven't really been paying too much attention to the change over, as well as the fight over, the switch for retirees from Medicare to the new Medicare Advantage. I've basically reduced myself to reading both James Eterno's blog and Norm Scott's blog for great information. I'm also getting some information from my step-mom who is a retired CSA member. She's not craxy about my proclivity for rabble rousing so she doesn't share much with me. 

Heck, this is going to effect me in 6 1/2 years, and I should pay more attention. From what I have read I don't like the co-payments, the referrals, and more importantly the "Trust us, it's going to be great" rhetoric coming from Mulgrew. But one thing really is bugging me.

What's the rush to sign everyone up by October 31? 

To the best of my recollection, the deal was done around July, maybe a little sooner (Please correct me if I'm incorrect). As far as I can tell, retirees are going into this blindly. They don't know which doctors, which hospitals or any other providers will be available. All they get is: "Trust us, it's going to be great."

Which brings me to two personal stories. In 1995 when I started with the DOE, I signed up with Physician Health Services. The only reason I signed up for PHS was all of our doctors were on it. I paid for it, unlike GHI which then and now is free. But eventually GHI got more of our doctors on it and we went to GHI. The key was doctors, a wide selection of doctors, and hospitals and providers.

Just recently I was looking at changing out from our top notch, world renowned UFT dental plan (SARCASM). I wanted to switch to the DENTCARE HMO. I researched it and found that not only are there very few providers, but the customer service sucks as well. It wasn't worth it. 

So, back to the Medicare Advantage. Retirees are walking blind into higgedly piggdly of a plan. There is not a list of doctors and providers. No one knows if their doctors that they have had a relationship with for years will be on this plan. No one knows if God forbid they are in treatment for a chronic condition they will be able to continue receiving the same treatment. This is where the UFT and other unions screwed up.

Why the rush? If as Mulgrew claims, "Trust us, it's going to be great," why not how all how great it is. This implementation should have started with NEXT October of 2022 for the sign ins or sign outs. This way, an educated choice of knowing ALL the providers will give those a basis to make a choice.

And beforehand why not have a true year to test out the new Medicare Advantage program. Incentivize retirees to sign up now in October 2021 and this way the kinks can and will be worked out. This way when others start opting in or out in October 2022 not one retiree will be going into this blind. 

Let's not forget the retirees who live where there re a dearth of providers. What of the retiree who has retired to North Dakota? Or the Alaska? What about where there are plenty of providers such as Florida but very few providers will be on the Medicare Advantage. Would the retiree who lives in Tampa have to schlep across the state to West Palm Beach for a prostate exam?

Something smells fishy here. This rush to get everyone in just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, there are plenty of retirees who can afford the out of pocket expense of paying into regular Medicare, but there are plenty of others who can't. And we are only stronger as people, as teachers, as retirees, and as UFT members as our weakest link. These are the people we should fight for. 

The UFT rammed this through. This should have been better explained and had much more input from retirees. This change should have been voted on as a whole by the union. Too often this happens. That some change is just shoved down our throats which the very few decide for several hundred thousand. 

Too bad chapter elections have come and gone. It's time to vote out the leadership of the retiree's chapter. Perhaps a recall is due?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Riddle Me This: When is an ATR Still an ATR?

 Back in June or late May we, and I mean we as ATR's, were told that the there was an agreement that the ATR caste system was no more. That we would be placed in the schools were were in last year and that was that. 

Obviously that for that didn't happen. I wasn't placed in the school I was in last year. I made darn sure. But I and others were still told that even if that happens, "you will be PERMANENTLY to a school." On these pages in June it was written about (Here and here). It was over. ATR's would be permanent and not feel like an outsider anymore. We will be on organization sheets. Be invited to holiday parties. Have mailboxes. Be on the the email blasts. And, most importantly, the Sunshine Club will remember our birthdays.

So why then am I still able to get into Open Market or the Excessed whatever it's called from September through April? Wanna see?


Why am I still considered "excessed"? I thought I was permanent. My time card says, "ATR." I'm not on the organization sheet. I don't even have a place for my stuff. And worse, the Sunshine Club hasn't asked me for $20.

How many ATRs are still the same predicament as I? Are some ATRs more equal than other ATRs? I do understand that to a point. Some are ATRs for no reason of their own. Some, and I admit to being one, are ATRs for being naughty. 

Oh, and we were told there would be zero rotations. I already know of someone who has been rotated. 

Sure would be swell to know what really is going on. 



Sunday, October 3, 2021

Stephanie Edmonds Sees Judaism as Something That Serves Her

 I am so happy I heard about Stephanie Edmond's attention seeking interview on CNN after it had aired. I would've reacted like Luke Fuchs. Fortunately, I watched the video whilst on the bike at Planet Fitness. However, I did scream out, "What a fucking idiot!" 

One thing she has said (In addition to the myriad of whacky things she has blabbered) when asked by CNN's Alisyn Camerota is if she had "taught her final class," Stephanie replied...

 "I just finished a class. I still have one more"

Let's get this straight. Stephanie was being interviewed in her classroom, during her prep, while still on the clock? This is allowable? I recall back in 2012 when admins were trying to find out if I was blogging during the school day. Someone thought they could get me for stealing time. What should it be called what Stephanie did? Prep time is for PREPARING. Not for the flowing of crocodile tears on CNN. 

At :45 Stephanie claims that...

 "she has a deeply held religious objection that this goes against my faith. Betrayal of my faith in God and for that reason I decided not to (get vaccinated)"

I've been Jewish since day I was born. I can't think of anywhere in Judaism where it says thou shalt not receive COVID-19 vaccine. Let's see what Chabad has to say. One thing that stands out is...

"Assuming that vaccinating when there is a high risk of catching a disease is similar to fleeing from an epidemic, then it’s mandatory for you to do it, and others can be compelled to do so as well."

We here at SBSB would all bet our collective salaries that Setphanie's son has had all his MANDATORY vaccinations to enter school. We would also hazard to be that Stephanie does not keep kosher. She enjoys mixing meat with dairy. She doesn't honor Shabbas (As we can see from her prolific tweeting from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) She enjoys shrimp on the barbie and doesn't have separate plates and stove for Passover. In other words, Stephanie picks and chooses what she wants to follow in Judaism as a matter of convenience when it suits her needs. 

The Crack Team has since learned that Stephanie did put in for a religious objection accommodation to get vaccinated and was shot down. It is being appealed and it is pretty safe to say that she'll be shot down again. 

Growing up privileged in Fairfield County and attending an exclusive boarding school Stephanie has probably experienced entitlement. That daddy has always given to her what she wants when she wants it. That is not how the real world works. 

Camerota finally asks at 1:34 what we here at SBSB have been asking, "Where in Judaism does it say that you can't be vaccinated?" 

Stephanie's reply...

"Judaism is not a monolith, like all religions(WTF?) I'm a history teacher. Even a basic look at history will show us that people of the same religious fate do not always agree."

Yes, that is true. I agree. Yes, there are many edicts, laws from all religions that its adherents don't follow.  But again, there is nothing in Jewish law against vaccine or MANDATED VACCINES!

"And while in Judaism there is no specific tenant"

And you wonder why she got denied her accommodation. SHE JUST ADMITTED SHE'S FULL OF SHIT!

"We can look to it (Judaism) for guidance."

Again, there is nothing in Judaism about Vaccines!!!!!!

"This is the decision I have come to between me and God"


She starts to shed the crocodile tears about leaving. Blah, blah, she's crying about leaving her students. Well, if her students were so important she would sacrifice her well being for them. She would have risked everything for her students. But she hasn't. In fact one member of The Crack Team believes that she is vaxxed. And I believe that member of The Crack Team is correct.

Why? She wants to be a martyr. She is building her brand. She considers herself an "educelebrity." She does not care about her students, her school, nor the community. Whatever she can do to promote herself is all that matters.

To use Judaism as a crutch and worse to misinterpret what Jewish law says is just vile. She is the stereotype of Jews that got 6 million of us slaughtered.  I wish I could denounce my Judaism. I am far from a perfect Jew but I try. I don't use it as a crutch or use it for ill gotten means. 

I feel so filthy right now having listened to this woman that I need to find myself a Mikveh. 

But seriously. Stephanie. Please. Seek help.