Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Tuesday that the city would roll out an unprecedented initiative offering free health care to all residents - including illegal immigrants. But the city already does that.

NYC Care, de Blasio's new program, will provide coverage to the New Yorkers who are now using the emergency room as their sole health care provider.

ABC 7 reports NYC Care will guarantee health care for approval 600,000 people without health insurance in NY.

The city plans to contribute $100 million in funding for NYC Care, which de Blasio described as "a really smart down payment on a lot of good things it'll yield later on".

Yet taxpayers are at risk for bigger bills: Programs like this are infamous for busting past projected costs. "The message will be go get the health care you need when you need it".

Funding for the new program will require no tax hikes, the mayor said.

Yes, once-cash-strapped H+H's finances are, for now, OK.

In a tweet, de Blasio said the plan will "ensure the first stop for people isn't the emergency room".

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The mayor said all services would be affordable on a sliding scale for those who are able to pay a portion of the costs, while those who can not afford to pay will receive care for free.

'Health care isn't just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice.

"You know the national reality, the Republicans in Washington are trying to tear down healthcare, trying to tear down the universality of health care coverage, get rid of Obamacare".

Officials aren't committing state dollars to subsidizing Inslee's program but suggesting that premiums paid by consumers will support it. Insurance carriers and health care providers who participate in the program will also likely be squeezed.

Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare") in 2010, the state of NY has seen a decrease in its uninsured population by more than half. However, de Blasio believes it will ultimately save the city money by drastically reducing residents' trips to the emergency room.

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. "We're going to get it to everyone".

When asked why New Yorkers should pay for the health care of undocumented immigrants or young invincibles, De Blasio said they already pay plenty when the community isn't healthy. As a result, they end up in the emergency room for complaints great and small, typically receiving care for a problem that's become much more serious during the wait. He added that the program will be up and running this year and will be built out over the next few years.

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