NYC to Guarantee Health Care to All, Including Undocumented Immigrants


Mayor Bill de Blasio's ambitious plan, dubbed the "most comprehensive plan in the nation", will serve some 600,000 New Yorkers without insurance by strengthening the city's public health insurance option - MetroPlus. "NYC Care will provide a primary care doctor and will provide access to specialty care, prescription drugs, mental health services, hospitalization, and more", the press release noted.

In 2006, when Newsom was mayor of San Francisco, the city created a universal healthcare program for uninsured and low-income residents, which has been eyed as a potential model for the rest of California.

"We want to flip the script", de Blasio said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio: "The ultimate solution is single-payer health insurance for this whole country, or Medicare for all".

The premise is that it will be more cost-effective to give people regular medical care than to rely on hospital emergency rooms to treat serious health problems that could have been addressed at far less expense earlier.

'The Republicans in Washington have been trying to tear down health care, we're doing the opposite, ' de Blasio said. In this city we are going to make that a reality in this city we are taking that ideal and putting it into practice.

One question is whether undocumented immigrants will sign up at a time when the federal government has increased deportation efforts, said David Sandman, CEO of the New York State Health Foundation, a health care policy, research and grantmaking organization. 'If we treat people decently, it would be bad for the economy, ' they'll say.

"We have the tools and opportunity to guarantee healthcare for all New Yorkers", NYC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio said in a statement.

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It would also provide direct city spending, about $100 million per year when fully implemented, on those without insurance, including undocumented immigrants, who already can receive care at the emergency rooms of city-run hospitals.

The promise is aimed at 600,000 New Yorkers who lack insurance because they can't afford it, believe they don't need it or can't get it because they are in the country illegally.

De Blasio seems unfazed by the idea that this might be a very expensive boondoggle, of course.

'NYC already has a public option, ' he tweeted.

According to Bloomberg, NYC Care will begin in the Bronx this year, and is expected to be available to all New Yorkers in 2021. The city intends to set up a 24/7 help line to assist people with their after-hours needs as well.

In other words, taxes paid by New York City residents such as myself can not be used to help stem the tide of illegal immigration.

Supporters of Inslee's plan didn't immediately reveal cost estimates for the proposal, but the governor said "we need to write another chapter of health care reform". "You won't end up in a hospital bed if you actually get the care you need when the disease starts".

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.