Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

De Blasio: Healthcare Plan Covers All New Yorkers, Even Undocumented

De Blasio: Healthcare Plan Covers All New Yorkers, Even Undocumented

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that New York City will guarantee health care to all New Yorkers. According to Politico, the unprecedented program will cost an estimated $100 million. "In this city, we're going to make that a reality", de Blasio said.

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

"Health care isn't just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice". Rather, it involves bolstering MetroPlus for those who are eligible, and ensuring that those who can't sign up for insurance can use the city's public hospital and clinic program-NYC Health + Hospitals-for all their medical needs, including mental health and secondary services like pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, and substance abuse treatment. "While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay".

The health care programs will include customer-friendly call lines to help New Yorkers "make appointments with general practitioners, cardiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and a full spectrum of health care services", the news release said.

"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. "You name it. The things that people need will be available to them".

There are now about 600,000 New Yorkers who were not able to be covered under Obamacare, many of them younger people who do not think they need insurance, he added.

De Blasio, now in his second term as mayor of the country's most populous city, has long supported universal healthcare coverage. "In the last couple of years there's been tremendous focus, tremendous energy, pinpoint precision in Washington among Republicans trying to reduce the amount of health care people get. That's the ideal, that what we need", de Blasio said. New Yorkers can access the program via the city's website or by calling 311. His "health care for all" effort seems little different. 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. The mayor does not plan on raises taxes to pay for the plan.

The $100million plan would reach 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers, including undocumented immigrants, low-income residents who can't afford current insurance plans, and the "young invincibles" who don't think they need insurance.

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