Bill de Blasio unveils plan for universal health care

Bill de Blasio unveils plan for universal health care

The push from de Blasio, a Democrat, comes one day after he announced an initiative to guarantee health care for all city residents, including undocumented immigrants, pledging $100 million and a commitment to extend health insurance to an additional 600,000 NY residents.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will unveil legislation Wednesday mandating two weeks of paid time off for workers in the city, a move that would guarantee paid time off for an additional 500,000 people.

De Blasio said the city will be strengthening its public health insurance option to create a new program called NYC Care. This plan will give all of that directly to the people who don't have it in the city'.

The mayor has styled himself, in his 2017 re-election campaign and during his second term, as a progressive leader on issues like health care and as a bulwark against the policies of President Trump, particularly on immigration. That would indicate that health care insurance runs about $166 per person per year - $100 million to provide it for 600,000 people is about that amount. For those who can't pay for coverage or who are ineligible due to their immigration status, the NYC Care program will give patients consistent access to NYC Health and Hospitals' facilities.

De Blasio said taxes won't be raised to fund the plan.

The plan, which needs city council approval, would make New York City the first city in the nation with such a requirement.

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The new program comes with a hefty price tag, an estimated $100 million annually. Eric Phillips, de Blasio's spokesman, claimed this program is for direct coverage.

"The Heritage Foundation, that reputable organization, [is] telling us that this is going to destroy the economy", de Blasio said. "With NYC Care, the citizens of this great city can finally exercise that right".

Dr. Mitchell Katz, the CEO of the public hospital system, said the city will hire additional primary-care doctors to meet an expected growth in demand.

De Blasio apparently anticipates that the "pay-what-you-want" option will yield some payment, and its not clear, from the numbers cited in Tuesday's press conference, that the city has considered what might happen if all 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers fail to pay anything for services rendered.

At first glance, the program seems similar to NYC Health and Hospitals' system of treating the uninsured. "Get used to this criticism-you're going to hear a lot of it". Once the program is fully operational, interested parties can either call 311 or visit nyc.gov, and staff will set them up with a primary care contact.

'If folks get primary care or mental health services when they need them at the right point in life, that means you avoid everything from homelessness, incarceration, people losing their jobs'.

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