De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

Everyone in New York City is guaranteed the right to health care said Mayor Bill de Blasio

Everyone in New York City is guaranteed the right to health care said Mayor Bill de Blasio

The basic premise: The approximately 600,000 uninsured people now living in New York City will gain free or affordable access to primary and secondary providers, thanks to a strengthened public insurance plan (the existing MetroPlus) and a new program called NYC Care.

De Blasio also said the city would not raise taxes to pay for the program and will use the city's public health care system to fund it.

The $100million plan would reach 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers, including undocumented immigrants, low-income residents who can't afford current insurance plans, and the "young invincibles" who don't think they need insurance. "We are going to guarantee health care for New Yorkers who need it". "While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay". No one should go without the health care they need.

Eric Philips, de Blasio's press secretary, later clarified that the plan is not health insurance. "We have to make it in practice a right".

De Blasio says that when people know their health care is guaranteed it will change their behavior.

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Unlike the MetroPlus plan, NYC Care is a program that leverages the city's hospital system. Primary and specialty care will be part of the city's health care offer, including pediatrics, OB-GYN, mental health and geriatric medical services. De Blasio aides told the NY Times that the NYC Care initiative is simply "something the city could do immediately and on its own". "In the last couple of years there's been tremendous focus, tremendous energy, pinpoint precision in Washington among Republicans trying to reduce the amount of health care people get. It is the most expensive way to get health care".

The program marks the Democratic mayor's effort to address the progressive priority of providing universal health-care coverage.

'To me that is the moral choice and a smart economic choice because we're not doing the insane thing which is making the emergency room the first place people turn to'.

It will also guarantee health care access to those ineligible for insurance, including illegal immigrants who live in NY. It's going to be for the first time a guarantee of health care.

The unprecedented city government plan is not considered "health insurance", but rather a city payment for direct comprehensive care, and Politico estimated the cost to be around $100 million.

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