De Blasio Says City Will ‘Guarantee Health Care For All New Yorkers’

Glen Mclaughlin
January 9, 2019

"New York City will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every single resident regardless of someone's ability to pay or immigration status, an unprecedented plan that will protect the more than half-a-million New Yorkers now using the ER as a primary provider", writes NBC New York.

The mayor's office insists the NYC Care program is not intended as a substitute for a universal health insurance plan that some Democratic state legislators are pushing for, or a national single-payer plan.

De Blasio, now in his second term as mayor of the country's most populous city, has long supported universal healthcare coverage. There are approximately 600,000 New Yorkers without health care coverage. "Through our own public option and a new program called NYC Care, we'll ensure the first stop for people isn't the emergency room", de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

'If folks get primary care or mental health services when they need them at the right point in life, that means you avoid everything from homelessness, incarceration, people losing their jobs'. The panel concluded, in the words of a Newsday editorial, that "for patients, emphasis would be on primary care instead of hurried emergency-room sessions and days of hospitalization".

Unlike the MetroPlus plan, NYC Care is a program that leverages the city's hospital system.

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"We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of neighbors who happen to be undocumented - they're still part of our community, they need health care, their families need health care", de Blasio added.

New York City is a sanctuary city that defies USA immigration enforcement laws, protects illegal immigrants from deportation, and limits local cooperation with federal enforcement officers.

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. "Don't feel you can't afford it. Get the health care that you need when you need it".

De Blasio said the plan will offer public health insurance on a sliding price scale that is based on income. "For people who have the ability to pay, we'll be expecting that people pay what they can". The emergency room is the worst way to get health care, it's the most expensive way to get health care, ' he said. We'll put the money in it to make it work. We're going the opposite direction. That program, NYC Care, will launch this summer and will cost at least $100 million annually at full scale, the city said.

Residents will be able to access the program via the city's website or calling the city of NY at 311.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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