Mayor de Blasio unveils health care program for all NYC residents

Mayor de Blasio unveils health care program for all NYC residents

Mayor de Blasio unveils health care program for all NYC residents

The new NYC Care plan, which de Blasio said will be funded without tax increases, is an expansion of the city's existing MetroPlus plan covering hospital bills for low-income residents.

NYC Care, de Blasio's new program, will provide coverage to the New Yorkers who are now using the emergency room as their sole health care provider.

Half of that group can't get health insurance due to their immigration status, de Blasio said, while the remainder includes young people who don't think they need coverage and people who find the Affordable Care Act exchanges unaffordable or hard to navigate.

The plan is set to be fully rolled out in 2021 and is expected to cost the city at least $100 million annually.

"We need to know exactly who is going to be eligible for the program".

"You might say 'is this something that ideally should be handled in Washington D.C. or in Albany?' Yes, it should", De Blasio said.

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. Currently, about 600,000 New Yorkers are uninsured. Officials expect it will be two years before they can get the plan completely off the ground, but once it is, "Every New Yorker who needs a doctor will have an actual doctor with a name, they'll have a place [to go], they'll have a card that will empower them to go whenever they need", de Blasio pledged. The mayor is trying to do what some of his predecessors attempted-shift patients away from the emergency room and into primary care, or clinics.

"Health care isn't just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice", de Blasio tweeted.

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Health care has become a major political issue in the U.S., with Republicans lifting restrictions that have made many policies under a national system known as Obamacare unaffordable and prominent Democrats advocating a government-run national health system to replace Obamacare.

'We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of our neighbors who are undocumented, they're still part of our community and they need health care'.

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.

NYC Care will be launched in the summer. An estimated 600,000 New Yorkers do not now have health insurance, according to the mayor's office.

"This has never been done in the country in a comprehensive way", Mayor de Blasio said on MSNBC. "We want it to be seamless; if you have questions, here's where to call".

State Sen. David Frockt, a Democrat from Seattle, said he would sponsor legislation for a public option. "It is the worst way to get health care".

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