Thursday, 24 January, 2019

De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

Bill de Blasio 'NYC CARE': Mayor De Blasio to Unveil 'Free Healthcare' for Uninsured New Yorkers, Cost $100M
Celia Hoffman | 08 January, 2019, 21:50

A new plan to provide all New York City residents, even undocumented immigrants, with health care coverage is groundbreaking and has "never been done in the country in a comprehensive way", Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

The initiative, dubbed NYC Care, will guarantee physical and mental health care for all 8.6 million people living in NY, de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

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. The program is available to anyone who does not have an affordable insurance option, de Blasio said.

There will be no tax hikes to fund NYC Care, which will be financed by the city's public health budget.

The mayor has styled himself, in his 2017 re-election campaign and during his second term, as a progressive leader on issues like health care and as a bulwark against the policies of President Trump, particularly on immigration.

More news: Woman dies after becoming stuck inside clothing bin, police say

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.

The new plan provides insurance for visits to doctors outside of hospitals; health experts say access to regular medical visits can cut down on costly hospital stays. Part of the idea NYC Care, aides to the mayor said, was to ease that burden while providing better health care to New Yorkers. "We want them to have primary care, we want them to have specialty care", De Blasio crowed in a press release, according to local media. And we have now in New York City something that we can build on.

'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 emergency room is the worst way to get health care, it's the most expensive way to get health care, ' he said.

'There are vast savings, humanly and economically, to getting it right. We're going the opposite direction.

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