New York City launches $100 million universal health insurance program


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every single resident, he revealed in a historic surprise announcement.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Tuesday that the city would roll out an unprecedented initiative offering free health care to all residents - including illegal immigrants.

The mayor's plan aims to boost enrollment in MetroPlus, the city's public health insurance option, to guarantee that anyone ineligible for insurance - including undocumented New Yorkers - has direct access to NYC Health + Hospitals' physicians, pharmacies and mental health and substance abuse services through a new program called NYC Care.

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 idea is to avoid going to an emergency room for non-emergency situations, freeing them up for their intended objective.

De Blasio said the plan will offer public health insurance on a sliding price scale that is based on income.

'If we don't help people get the health care, we're going to pay plenty on the back-end when people get really sick, ' he said. The mayor does not plan on raises taxes to pay for the plan.

The coalition noted that for NY, violent crimes in 2018 have decreased and are reportedly at an all-time low which contradicts the need to push for tighter bail restrictions.

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The mayor said he believes the program will ultimately save taxpayers money because participants in NYC Care will be able to get routine care in a doctor's office as opposed to more expensive emergency room services. Nor was arithmetic presented to document how much the city would save on city-paid emergency and hospital care by making preventive care more accessible. "We recognize that obviously health care isn't just, in theory, a right; it's in practice a right". "I refuse the notion that these folks don't deserve health care", he said.

The new program comes with a hefty price tag, an estimated $100 million annually. The healthcare-for-all plan is not limited to American citizens and would also include individuals who can not afford their existing plans.

The prospects for a statewide universal health care proposal in NY improved last fall when Democrats took control of the entire Legislature by winning a Senate majority.

"Everyone wants employees to have a fair amount of vacation time, but one-size-fits-all government mandates tend to make it harder to hire, grow businesses and create jobs", said Michael Steel, a Republican operative who served as an aide to former House Speaker John Boehner.

"We don't want people to go out of business". An estimated 600,000 New Yorkers do not now have health insurance, according to the mayor's office.

The mayor portrayed this guarantee of health care as a sequel to insurance gains the city has made through the ACA.