Mayor Invoice de Blasio proclaims healthcare plan for NYC uninsured

Jan 11, 2019, 02:11
Mayor Invoice de Blasio proclaims healthcare plan for NYC uninsured

"From this moment on in New York City, everyone is guaranteed the right to health care", said de Blasio, comparing it to the universal pre-K program his administration implemented several years ago.

The mayor added that participants will also be told how to get care from a specialist, such as an obstetrician/gynaecologist or mental health provider.

Residents will be able to access the program via the city's website or calling the city of NY at 311.

He told the news conference that he would love to see a single-payer health care system enacted by Congress or by NY state lawmakers, but "our people need health care right now".

The state's similarly liberal governor, Andrew Cuomo, previously spoke about health-care-for-all prior to being elected to a third term previous year.

"I refuse the notion that these folks don't deserve health care", de Blasio, a Democrat, said of undocumented immigrants. "We as a country must get there, and New York City will lead the way".

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"We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of our neighbors, who happen to be undocumented", the mayor continued.

By 2021, all New Yorkers in the city's five boroughs will have access to free health care.

"There's a smoothing that occurs when you take a group of people who are getting very expensive care much later than they should, and that is a huge burden on the healthcare system", he explained.

Councilman Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) said he feared that the $100 million cost could rise as more New Yorkers decide to opt into the program in the future or if federal and state governments change the rates of Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement. "In this city we're going to make that a reality", De Blasio said during a press conference on Tuesday.

De Blasio estimated that the city would spend about $100 million a year once the program is fully operating, in about two years.

Also, the city will use NYC Care to connect New Yorkers who are not eligible for health insurance, especially the undocumented or those who can't afford coverage, to health care.

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De Blasio's office credited the law, informally known as Obamacare, with bringing the number of uninsured Americans down to almost half of what it was in 2013.

The mayor's goal with the new plan is to get New Yorkers out of costly emergency rooms for primary care and into doctor's offices, but just how the program will work is unclear says David Sandman, president of the nonprofit New York State Health Foundation.

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.

Correct. NYC already has a public option. "We need to write another chapter of health care reform", said Inslee, who provided no details on how the program would be funded. Currently, individuals making up to $48,000 per year and families of four earning up to $98,000 can receive federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

City officials plan to reach out to low-income New Yorkers who qualify.

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