De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

Henrietta Brewer
January 9, 2019

New York City will guarantee "comprehensive health care" to every resident, regardless of someone's income or immigration status, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC Tuesday morning.

Mayor Bill de Blasio cited his "socialistic impulse" in describing an ideal world where New York City government has control over all land and building development in his city.

The liberal mayor said the plan will serve the 600,000 New Yorkers who don't have insurance by strengthening NYC's public health insurance option, MetroPlus.

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

'NYC already has a public option, ' he tweeted.

The plan isn't an individual insurance plan or a single-payer health program such as the Medicare for All plan touted by progressives.

Proponents of a nationwide Medicare for All system were quick to applaud de Blasio's plan as a major victory for health justice and a significant step toward the establishment of a statewide single-payer system in NY.

The program is expected to cost at least $100 million a year.

The plan is slated to launch in the summer and roll out geographically, starting in the Bronx, and reach all five boroughs by 2021.

"No one should have to live in fear".

City Hall said the Affordable Care Act gave eight million New Yorkers health insurance, but 600,000 New Yorkers still remain without insurance because they either, do not, or can not enroll. Officials hope to get the program up and running within two years, and while they weren't able to project wait times for secondary physicians, they hope that participants won't have to wait more than a week or two to see a primary doctor.

Another aspect of the plan, NYC Care, will guarantee insurance to New Yorkers regardless if they are ineligible for insurance or are undocumented.

"This is a big step in the right direction-but healthcare is still a human right, and must be extended to everyone in the state!"

'Emergency rooms are the default health care provider for so many people in this country. "It is the worst way to get health care. The Mayor must stop abusing the middle class and treating us like his personal ATM". "We are doing just the opposite".

The announcement on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," comes as the newly Democrat-controlled state legislature in Albany is weighing some form of universal health insurance for New York State. "Then we're working out the finances".

"We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of neighbors who happen to be undocumented - they're still part of our community, they need health care, their families need health care", de Blasio added.

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