NYC to Guarantee Health Care to All, Including Undocumented Immigrants

11 January, 2019, 02:14 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Everyone in New York City is guaranteed the right to health care said Mayor Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he will be launching a plan to guarantee health care coverage for all residents, which includes illegal immigrants living in the city.

A day after proposing health care for all New Yorkers, Mayor de Blasio plans to introduce legislation Wednesday forcing private employers to provide two weeks of paid time off to their workers. The new plan provides insurance for visits to doctors outside of hospitals; health experts say that access to regular medical visits can cut down on costly hospital stays. The city's more than 600,000 uninsured residents, including its more than 300,000 undocumented residents, are included in this de Blasio guarantee.

In a tweet, de Blasio said the plan will "ensure the first stop for people isn't the emergency room". There are roughly 600,000 residents without health insurance, half of them undocumented immigrants.

The mayor touted the program as a step toward universal health care.

"We're going to make sure it's seamless because that way people actually are encouraged to get the health care they need and never get to the point where they end up in the emergency room", he said on "Morning Joe". Right now, he explained, numerous city's uninsured put off medical attention when they need it because they assume they can't afford it.

As to why undocumented residents were included in the program, "I'm here to tell you everyone needs coverage, everyone needs a place to turn", said de Blasio.

"We're gonna work for those bigger changes", the mayor said.

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And as the Trump administration erodes the Affordable Care Act, the mayor's promise is the most ambitious of a spate of Democratic efforts to protect and expand the law's insurance gains and consumer protections at the local and state level. A city spokesman said, though, the new program is not health insurance, but the city paying for direct comprehensive care for patients, WNBC-TV reported. We want to increase the amount of healthcare that people can reach.

The prospects for a statewide universal health care proposal in NY improved last fall when Democrats took control of the entire Legislature by winning a Senate majority.

The current financial plan for city hospitals projects budget shortfalls of over $156 million in 2018, increasing to $1.8 billion in 2022, according to the city's Independent Budget Office. "We need to write another chapter of health care reform", said Inslee, who provided no details on how the program would be funded.

NYC Care will launch in summer 2019 and will roll out gradually in different parts of the city, starting in the Bronx, according to the release.

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

Correct. NYC already has a public option.

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