Because to Governor Andrew Cuomo – not to mention Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand – old people are just numbers on a screen. Numbers on a screen that don’t reliably vote Democratic, to boot. The background is that New York’s Medicare Advantage program is having doctors being removed wholesale from the network: “one health carrier alone, UnitedHealthcare, is terminating contracts with up to 2,100 doctors serving 8,000 Medicare Advantage patients in the New York metro region.” This is causing not a little anger and, frankly, despair:
Alfred Gargiulio, who has cerebral palsy with a seizure disorder, has been seeing Leibowitz [a doctor affected by this] since 1993. “Obama had said I could keep my doctor. Now they’re doing away with my doctor. They kicked him out! After 20 years, that’s not right. We love Dr. Leibowitz,” said Gargiulio.
Another patient, Wilma Streicher, 76, was equally baffled. “Of course I want to keep Dr. Leibowitz. I don’t see why they want to push him out,” she said.