NYC Mayor Unveils "Health Care For All" Plan

Phillip Cunningham
January 9, 2019

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday a plan to "guarantee health care to all New Yorkers".

"Health care is a human right. 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.

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.

The $100 million plan, dubbed "NYC Care", is created to provide health insurance for the 600,000 New Yorkers who have either opted out of purchasing insurance, can not afford the premiums available on the state's health-care exchange, or are ineligible for coverage because they are not citizens of the United States.

"As property taxes continue to rise at an unprecedented and unsustainable speed, impacting homeowners and renters alike, Mayor de Blasio continues to look for ways to spend their hard earned money by placing a heavier burden on the hardworking taxpayers of this city", said Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who challenged de Blasio in the last election.

The programs will cost the city an estimated $100 million a year to operate.

"The Mayor must stop abusing the middle class and treating us like his personal ATM", Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said (R-Staten Island). No one should go without the health care they need. The mayor's office was quick to say their 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 makes it sound as though illegal immigrants have not been able to get health care until now.

The program, NYC Care, will launch this summer in the Bronx.

He also said the plan was unfair to city employees as the city is trying to save on health care costs.

On Twitter, De Blasio wrote that there would be a public option and a new program called NYC Care.

'Emergency rooms are the default health care provider for so many people in this country. First we're getting you your health care. "That's the ideal, that what we need", de Blasio said. We're doing the opposite.

De Blasio said the city will make NYC Care "seamless" so that "people are encouraged to get the health care they actually need and never get to the point where they end up in the emergency room".

The tendency of a segment of the population to avoid the health-care system until a critical moment, relying in effect on emergency rooms for primary care, has been the knottiest problem in public health for decades. We just have to keep working at it!

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