New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a universal health care plan on Tuesday, promising affordable medical coverage to all residents, regardless of citizenship status. "From this moment on in New York City, everyone is guaranteed the right to health care".
If spending an additional $100 million is all it takes to pay the health costs of a half-million people, you may wonder why New York City Health + Hospitals (HHC) is going broke spending $8 billion annually to treat 1.1 million people.
"As property taxes continue to rise at an unprecedented and unsustainable speed, impacting homeowners and renters alike, Mayor de Blasio continues to look for ways to spend their hard earned money by placing a heavier burden on the hardworking taxpayers of this city".
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".
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.
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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.
De Blasio added, "Republicans in Washington are trying to tear down health care".
The program, NYC Care, will launch this summer in the Bronx. De Blasio aides told the NY Times that the NYC Care initiative is simply "something the city could do immediately and on its own". The panel concluded, in the words of a Newsday editorial, that "for patients, emphasis would be on primary care instead of hurried emergency-room sessions and days of hospitalization".
"People from all over the country are going to flood into NY to get their free health care", Thiessen said, adding that he had advice for taxpayers in the country's largest city who will foot the bill.
"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", de Blasio said. Mayor de Blasio is an expert at unveiling cloud-castles and proclaiming himself a master builder. "And we can get it to them".
The mayor's office insists the NYC Care program is not intended as a substitute for a universal health insurance plan that some Democratic state legislators are pushing for, or a national single-payer plan. We just have to keep working at it! "For people who have the ability to pay, we'll be expecting that people pay what they can".