NYC launches $100M universal health insurance program

Everyone in New York City is guaranteed the right to health care said Mayor Bill de Blasio

Responding to what he described as Washington's failure to achieve single-payer health insurance, the mayor laid out a "transformative" plan to provide free, comprehensive primary and specialized care to 600,000 New Yorkers, including 300,000 illegal immigrants.

Mayor Bill de Blasio first broadcast the plan on MSNBC Tuesday morning, offering more details at a press conference held at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

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.

Through our own public option and a new program called NYC Care, we'll ensure the first stop for people isn't the emergency room.

The program will cost at least $100 million a year.

The program is meant to reach an estimated 600,000 city residents now without health insurance. "It's being treated in a language you can understand by people who actually care about your health and well-being". But unless this public option is really, really, bad there'll be an awful lot of people who decide that dropping the insurance plan and relying upon the city will do just fine.

'NYC already has a public option, ' he tweeted. "In this city, we're gonna make that a reality", de Blasio said during a news conference. 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". He added that NY has a public health insurance option, MetroPlus, that the city aims to improve, expand and support through NYC Care. The mayor and aides said those residents tend to be healthy young adults who think they do not need insurance, and others who can not afford insured offered through their jobs, or the Affordable Care Act.

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The Immigration Coalition has proposed allocating funds in the state budget to create an Essential Plan to cover everyone up to 200 percent of the poverty level, also regardless of immigration status.

'Emergency rooms are the default health care provider for so many people in this country.

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.

The policy is expected to benefit hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from a wide range of industries. "Let's say they're having an after-hours issue and need understanding about where to get a prescription filled".

Otherwise, the city's estimate averages out to $160 per person in medical costs per year.

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