'NYC CARE': Mayor De Blasio to Unveil 'Free Healthcare' for Uninsured New Yorkers, Cost $100M
09 January, 2019, 04:20
A new plan to provide all New York City residents, even undocumented immigrants, with health care coverage is groundbreaking and has "never been done in the country in a comprehensive way", Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
The initiative, dubbed NYC Care, will guarantee physical and mental health care for all 8.6 million people living in NY, de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.
The city said it would also "double down" on its efforts to increase enrollment in MetroPlus, which provides free or affordable health insurance that connects insurance-eligible New Yorkers to a network of providers that includes NYC Health + Hospitals' 11 hospitals and 70 clinics.
If spending an additional $100 million is all it takes to pay the health costs of a half-million people, you may wonder why New York City Health + Hospitals (HHC) is going broke spending $8 billion annually to treat 1.1 million people.
De Blasio, now in his second term as mayor of the country's most populous city, has long supported universal healthcare coverage.
The $100 million plan will roll out this year and expand over the next few years, de Blasio said.
"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", de Blasio said in a statement on Tuesday. "You name it. The things that people need will be available to them". "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". But, aides said, it was something the city could do immediately and on its own.
On Twitter, the Mayor wrote there would be an expansion to the public option and a new program called NYC Care. We want people to have primary care, specialty care.
The mayor's office was quick to say that its plan, to be called NYC Care, would not be a substitute for any universal health care at the state level or a national single-payer plan.
De Blasio said it will be paid for through the public health care system and he believes it will ultimately save money by preventing trips to the emergency room. "And we can get it to them". We're doing the opposite. We just have to keep working at it! When you get people in front of a physician in a timely manner, when you avoid hospitalizations and intensive treatments, you cut out a staggering expense: Those savings are projected to help cover NYC Care.
"This is a big step in the right direction-but healthcare is still a human right, and must be extended to everyone in the state!"
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