Health Care

De Blasio has a plan

De Blasio has a plan

New York City on Tuesday launched a $100-million U.S. health insurance program to cover 600,000 uninsured city residents, including those unable to afford coverage and people living in the United States illegally, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

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. "We have a public option that we're ready to make much bigger".

The plan isn't an individual insurance plan or a single-payer health program such as the Medicare for All plan touted by progressives.

New York City will soon guarantee health care for all New Yorkers. Rather, it involves bolstering MetroPlus for those who are eligible, and ensuring that those who can't sign up for insurance can use the city's public hospital and clinic program-NYC Health + Hospitals-for all their medical needs, including mental health and secondary services like pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, and substance abuse treatment.

The program is expected to cost at least $100 million a year.

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City Hall said the Affordable Care Act gave eight million New Yorkers health insurance, but 600,000 New Yorkers still remain without insurance because they either, do not, or can not enroll. "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". And we're doing that here in this city, ' de Blasio said.

The program is called NYC Care. Once the program is fully operational, interested parties can either call 311 or visit nyc.gov, and staff will set them up with a primary care contact.

"Health care is a human right". 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". "Don't feel you can't afford it. Get the health care that you need when you need it".

The announcement on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," comes as the newly Democrat-controlled state legislature in Albany is weighing some form of universal health insurance for New York State. But, aides said, it was something the city could do immediately and on its own. However, de Blasio believes it will ultimately save the city money by drastically reducing residents' trips to the emergency room. 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.