Bill de Blasio unveils plan for universal health care

Bill de Blasio unveils plan for universal health care

Bill de Blasio unveils plan for universal health care

Some 600,000 residents of New York City now without health insurance will be assigned a primary care physician and be given access to specialists under a plan announced on Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Described by de Blasio as a bold healthcare initiative that "has never been done before in this country in this kind of comprehensive way", NYC Care would build upon the city's existing MetroPlus insurance system and spend an estimated $100 million per year to provide physical and mental health coverage, pediatric care, and other necessities to all residents.

The mayor has styled himself, in his 2017 re-election campaign and during his second term, as a progressive leader on issues like health care and as a bulwark against the policies of President Trump, particularly on immigration.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announces NYC Care
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announces NYC Care at the Lincoln Hospital in New York on Jan. 8 2019

"You might say 'is this something that ideally should be handled in Washington D.C. or in Albany?' Yes, it should", De Blasio said. "We're going to have a lot of people going to work sick and making everyone else sick", Blasio said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "They're still part of our community".

'This is one universal way to reach all those folks right now who are not covered'.

"Most New York City employers are doing whatever they can to attract and keep good workers and do not need the government dictating their benefit policies", she said. However, de Blasio believes it will ultimately save the city money by drastically reducing residents' trips to the emergency room. And if health care insurance did cost $166 per person per year then it wouldn't be a problem, would it? 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". The city intends to set up a 24/7 help line to assist people with their after-hours needs as well.

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The plan also rests on recent efforts to strengthen the shaky finances of the NYC Health + Hospitals system, which nevertheless "still faces substantial financial challenges", according to a forecast last month by the New York City Independent Budget Office.

NYC Care is expected to launch launch in the Bronx in summer 2019 and be fully available to New Yorkers across the five boroughs in 2021, the release said. "The emergency room truly should be the last resort". "It's the most expensive way to get health care".

When the reporter further pressed the mayor for an answer, de Blasio said, "We're first getting people health care".

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'We want people to get health care when they need health care, ' he added. We just have to keep working at it!

"This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just ERs) for people who can't afford it, or can't get comprehensive Medicaid - including 300,000 undocumented New Yorkers", spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted. No one should go without the health care they need. First we're getting you your health care.

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