NYC Mayor Unveils "Health Care For All" Plan

Bill de Blasio

- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday a new plan to provide all New Yorkers with health care coverage. It will launch this summer and roll out geographically, starting in the Bronx. Doctor visits will be priced on a sliding scale.

I stand with @NYCMayor de Blasio today in declaring health care is a right for all, not a privilege for only those who can afford care. "In this city we're going to make that a reality", de Blasio said during a press conference Tuesday.

The plan will provide health care to the almost 600,000 New Yorkers now using the ER as a primary provider, according to de Blasio. His "health care for all" effort seems little different.

"People from all over the country are going to flood into NY to get their free health care", Thiessen said, adding that he had advice for taxpayers in the country's largest city who will foot the bill.

Funding for the new program will require no tax hikes, the mayor said. The city said last week that an ambitious goal of providing MetroCards to about 800,000 residents whose incomes are below the federal poverty line would start this month with cards for only about 30,000 people, or about four percent of the total.

He also said the plan was unfair to city employees as the city is trying to save on health care costs. That's fine, as far as it goes, but as a transformative, revolutionary program, it resembles telling people to call the Housing Authority if they need an apartment and then pretending that the housing crisis has been solved.

Notably, NYC Care does not mean universal health insurance. Don't wait. Don't feel it's not for you. New Yorkers can access the program via the city's website or by calling 311.

"You might say right at the jump is this something that ideally should be handled in Washington, D.C. or in Albany?"

Asked about how the program would work in places like Staten Island without a public hospital, de Blasio emphasized that the Vanderbilt Clinic was open and that MetroPlus would work everywhere "so that's half the people". Finding them homes, health care, food etc. help them first.

The NYC Care plan would improve that coverage, which already insures some 516,000 people, and aim to reach more of those who are eligible, such as the young and uninsured, and others who qualify but have not applied.

"Our citizens have hard enough time covering their own healthcare costs", Nicole Malliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly who represents Brooklyn and Staten Island, tweeted.

"We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of our neighbors, who happen to be undocumented", the mayor continued. "We're going to get it to everyone".

De Blasio explained he wants the plan to stop uninsured New Yorkers from using the ER as their primary care provider, and believes NYC Care will actually save the city money.

The mayor said all services would be affordable on a sliding scale for those who are able to pay a portion of the costs, while those who can not afford to pay will receive care for free.

"This has never been done before in this country, in this kind of comprehensive way". It is the worst way to get health care. The emergency room is the worst way to get health care, it's the most expensive way to get health care, ' he said.

Trump's Republican party has pushed to repeal the 2010 Obamacare program, which expanded health care to most uninsured Americans, while the liberal wing of the Democratic party has called for a federally funded, single-payer system, inspired by programs in Canada and many European countries.

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