Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Healthcare guaranteed for all New Yorkers, says Bill de Blasio

Level off city spending now De Blasio should pay careful attention to the tax burden in this year's budget Climbing too fast
Celia Hoffman | 13 January, 2019, 01:56

Some announcements came earlier this week, like guaranteed health care for all New Yorkers and mandated paid personal time off for all workers.

In his sixth annual State of the City speech, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday morning exclaimed that the city would seize the buildings of the "worst landlords".

"If you've spent your lifetime working, you've already paid your dues", de Blasio said in his State of the City address. "Today we yet again pave the path towards a new generation of workers' rights that meet the needs and realities of today's workforce with the right to paid time off - a win-win for workers, employers, and our economy".

Experts said that if the legislation passes, New York City will be the first jurisdiction in the 50 states to mandate paid vacation.

The mayor said, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, eight million New Yorkers now have health insurance, adding that the uninsured rate is about almost half of what it was in 2013.

More news: Belly fat 'linked to brain shrinkage' and could raise risk of Alzheimer's

"To be the fairest big city in America, New Yorkers can't be forced to choose between bringing home a paycheck and taking time off just to disconnect or spend time with loved ones", de Blasio said. But the services won't be free for everyone, the paper reported: Fees will be assessed on a sliding scale, depending on income.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will pursue local legislation that would require private employers with five or more employees to offer 10 annual days of paid personal time, allowing employees to take paid time off for any goal. As the New York Post reported, the bill was introduced by Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents parts of Manhattan, but also now chairs the Council's Land Use Subcommittee on Planning Dispositions and Concessions, which has oversight over the sale or lease of city-owned land to developers.

Under NYC Care, as the city's program is being called, uninsured New Yorkers will be able to call a central phone number to get an insurance card and be assigned a doctor, giving them access to primary care and an array of specialty services, the mayor said according to the Post.

Traffic fatalities also dropped to a record low in 2018, with the lowest deaths reported since 1910, the mayor said, and NY permanently housed more than 2,000 homeless residents.

Although the mayor is calling for legislation to be passed soon, he says the plan would be phased in over time. "Well-connected developers should not be getting sweetheart deals on the taxpayers' dime".

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