De Blasio Announces Free Health Care for Illegal Aliens

Henrietta Brewer
January 10, 2019

New York City will spend up to $100 million a year to expand health care coverage to people without health insurance, including immigrants who are in the USA illegally, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

De Blasio appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday morning to unveil his new plan to provide affordable medical care for all New Yorkers, regardless of their income or immigration status.

The plan will build on the city's existing public-option health insurance program called MetroPlus, which now insures more than 500,000 low-income New Yorkers.

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

It will cover all five boroughs by 2021, costing at least $100 million on an annual basis, the city said.

The program is meant to reach an estimated 600,000 city residents now without health insurance.

The proposal, which would have to win approval from the City Council, would make NY a pioneer in labor law. The announcement makes NY the second USA city to attempt to provide health care to everyone living there, coming about a dozen years after San Francisco pioneered the idea with a more limited promise. And because more people will get preventive care, the city might actually save money, he added.

"When everyone is able to get access to services when they need them, and they have preventative services and they can see a primary care doctor", she said, "the whole health-care system works better". 'If we treat people decently, it would be bad for the economy, ' they'll say.

The mayor portrayed this guarantee of health care as a sequel to insurance gains the city has made through the ACA. There are roughly 600,000 residents without health insurance, half of them undocumented immigrants. 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.

Unlike the MetroPlus plan, NYC Care is a program that leverages the city's hospital system.

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 NYC Care plan would improve that coverage, which already insures some 516,000 people, and aim to reach more of those who are eligible, such as the young and uninsured, and others who qualify but have not applied.

"New Yorkers need a break!" he declared, sarcastically dismissing concerns that the policy might have negative ramifications.

The mayor announced the plan the day after a Democrat on the other side of the country, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, also staked out an aggressive stance.

Other reports by iNewsToday