For years and years Albuquerque City Employees have signed up for insurance benefits and have had the option of choosing their provider. It seemed only fair. Lovelace, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Presbyterian all were available health care providers that had both pros and cons. Finding a primary care physician can sometimes be a feat in itself, and when you finally find a good provider you do not want to have to change.
Unfortunately, Mayor Berry helped to make sure that city employees no longer had a choice in the matter. Earlier this year he forced others out and allowed only Presbyterian to be the sole provider.
This sudden change caused hardships on many city employees. Co-pays went up, premiums were increased, and service went down. For example, prescription medications and treatments that were provided by Blue Cross Blue Shield are no longer being approved by Presbyterian. Employees are left with two options, pay for the treatment and medication completely out of pocket or go without.
In fact, the Eye was contacted by two separate parents of special needs children. These parents are employed by the Albuquerque Police Department.
One parent explained to the Eye that the co-pay and out of pocket expense has risen so much, their family can not afford to get the care their child needs. Another parent explained that they have now been forced to apply for Medicare as Presbyterian does not provide the same treatment that is needed for their child's survival. These parents explained that this lack of service is the exact reason why they did not enroll in the Presbyterian Health Plan when they were hired by the city.
Our last email recieved stated that this employee has been prescribed the same medication for several years for an untreatable medical condition. The medication provides relief for the pain and discomfort this condition is causing. This employee has tried other medications and the one they are currently using is the only one that works. Presbyterian refuses to pay for the medication and it is forcing this employee to spend four hundred dollars just to remain healthy. The employee tried to appeal, however the staff at Presbyterian wants this employee to try all the other medications, yet again and even now is refusing to compensate the employee.
What gives Mayor Berry the right to chose what health plan employees are allowed, especially those that have been long time employees and were promised to be able to make the decision on health care when they first enrolled. What benefits is the Mayor personally receiving to have had this radical change become permanent?
Is the Mayor concerned that his employees are suffering and are inconvenienced at his hands?
Will Mayor Berry ever allow the citizens of Albuquerque to have a choice about ANYTHING or will he continue to dictate everything?
One thing is for sure, Mayor Berry's independant, selfish ways of "ruling" are not only ruining morale, they are physically hurting the employees as well.
Quote of the Day
Does this sound familiar? This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes