WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Ritchie Torres (NY-15) and Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) today introduced bipartisan legislation – the “Right to Medicare Act” – aimed at protecting the rights of seniors in New York and across the country to access traditional Medicare coverage and prevent employers from forcing retirees onto private Medicare Advantage plans without a choice.
“For me, there is no greater responsibility than protecting and strengthening healthcare for those with the greatest need – our senior citizens,” said U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15). “Medicare is how millions of seniors and retirees are able to go to the doctor, get the care they need, and live decent, dignified, and healthy lives. We must do everything we can to prevent and defend Medicare from being privatized, including preserving the rights seniors to access the coverage of their choosing. No employer should be able to involuntarily kick retirees off the plan they chose and earned in favor of a private plan they don’t want and didn’t have a say in selecting.”
“New York City Mayor Eric Adams broke the City’s commitment to our civil servants when he forced our retirees to change their health plan without any notice or input,” said U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11). “Our teachers, firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers, and other municipal workers did not deserve this bait and switch. Our bipartisan legislation rectifies this injustice by giving them a choice in their earned healthcare benefit.”
The “Right to Medicare Act” would prohibit employers, both public and private, from involuntarily forcing seniors to shift away from traditional Medicare coverage in favor of Medicare Advantage and would amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require employers to offer an opt-in option for seniors who might want change from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage.
The legislation would also put Congress on the record as affirming that all U.S. seniors have a right to choose for themselves between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Reps. Torres and Malliotakis are introducing the “Right to Medicare Act” in response to New York City government, the largest municipal employer in the country, as it continues to attempt to involuntarily kick approximately 250,000 public sector retirees off traditional Medicare plans they worked decades to secure and were promised and onto privately run healthcare insurance plans through Medicare Advantage.