New York City launches $100 million universal health insurance program

New York City launches $100 million universal health insurance program

New York City on Tuesday launched a $100 million health insurance program to cover 600,000 uninsured city residents, including those unable to afford coverage and those living in the United States illegally, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Mayor Bill De Blasio made the announcement on Tuesday, saying this has never been done in this kind of comprehensive way.

"We are going to guarantee health care for New Yorkers who need it", De Blasio told MSNBC.

De Blasio estimated that the city would spend about $100 million a year once the program is fully operating, in about two years. The idea is to avoid going to an emergency room for non-emergency situations, freeing them up for their intended objective.

President and CEO of the NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz said because it was a "comprehensive clinic" if someone needed hospital services, the city would help them get to another Health + Hospital facility. Mayor de Blasio should look out for the legal residents of the city who are footing the bill before extending more expensive taxpayer funded benefits to illegal aliens.

If the plan is approved, New York City would be the first city in the nation to mandate paid personal time off for workers.

"The emergency room is the default health care provider for so many people in this country", said de Blasio.

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De Blasio said he supports a single-payer health system in which the government would cover all health costs, preferably at the federal level.

Fees for the NYC Care services will be based on sliding scale charges, meaning people will pay for health care services based on their income. But he said he hoped the city's move would mobilize broader health care changes. Coverage will also apply to undocumented immigrants.

"You know the national reality, the Republicans in Washington are trying to tear down healthcare, trying to tear down the universality of health care coverage, get rid of Obamacare".

"No one should have to live in fear; no one should have to go without the healthcare they need", de Blasio said at a press conference at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

The progressive mayor stated that he believes NYC Care will act as a springboard for the rest of the country to follow suit and ultimately implement a nationwide universal health care program.

Residents will be able to access the program via the city's website or calling the city of NY at 311. His "health care for all" effort seems little different. "Reforming our system also requires an emphasis on promoting preventative medicine, as well as reducing unnecessary visits to emergency rooms; these must be focus points for MetroPlus and the NYC Care program going forward". The panel concluded, in the words of a Newsday editorial, that "for patients, emphasis would be on primary care instead of hurried emergency-room sessions and days of hospitalization".

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