Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio guarantees comprehensive health care to all residents

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio guarantees comprehensive health care to all residents

The basic premise: The approximately 600,000 uninsured people now living in New York City will gain free or affordable access to primary and secondary providers, thanks to a strengthened public insurance plan (the existing MetroPlus) and a new program called NYC Care. "At Lincoln, we aim to establish best practices that combine physical and mental health-two services which have historically been treated separately", said Milton Nuñez, then as now Lincoln's director-words not much different from what Chirlane McCray said at Tuesday's "revolutionary" press conference.

The city said it would also "double down" on its efforts to increase enrollment in MetroPlus, which provides free or affordable health insurance that connects insurance-eligible New Yorkers to a network of providers that includes NYC Health + Hospitals' 11 hospitals and 70 clinics.

Eric Philips, de Blasio's press secretary, later clarified that the plan is not health insurance.

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. But in 2009, Alan Aviles, then the city's hospitals chief, spoke of "hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds that cover the costs of serving uninsured patients including undocumented immigrants".

NYC Care will launch in the summer of 2019 and cost at least $100 million annually at full scale.

The plan will allow residents to see a primary care doctor for their healthcare issues, rather than relying on emergency rooms, said the mayor. "They're still a part of our community, they need health care, their families need health care".

The plan would cover everyone regardless of ability pay or immigration status.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York City New York U.S
Gov. Jay Inslee pushes public health insurance statewide

De Blasio makes it sound as though illegal immigrants have not been able to get health care until now. 'This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just ERs) for people who can't afford it or can't get comprehensive Medicaid - including 300,00 undocumented New Yorkers'. "A primary care doctor, an actual person that you can turn to that's your doctor, and the specialty services that will make all the difference", de Blasio said.

"Health care is a human right".

De Blasio said it will be paid for through the public health care system and he believes it will ultimately save money by preventing trips to the emergency room.

How about the Mayor of New York City take care of the people that was born here, like the ones that are sleeping on our streets. "We are doing just the opposite".

Watch live: Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the health care plan in video above.

'If we don't help people get the health care, we're going to pay plenty on the back-end when people get really sick, ' he said. "Then we're working out the finances".

IRS will not issue refunds during partial government shutdown
However, in the case that it does remain closed, Olsen said people should continue to file taxes as if everything is normal. Tax preparers are encouraging people to call or stop in to your local office to ask questions as this tax season begins.

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