Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

De Blasio has a plan

De Blasio has a plan

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he will be launching a plan to guarantee health care coverage for all residents, which includes illegal immigrants living in the city.

NYC Care, which will be launched in the Bronx borough in the summer of 2019, will expand across the entire city by 2021 and cost at least $100 million annually, according to a statement from the mayor's office.

While we await the "details", I will suspend my disbelief other than to remark that (1) the price tag of $100 million seems a little light and (2) the "details" should anticipate the dynamic effects of the plan. In this city, we're going to make that a reality.

De Blasio says that when people know their health care is guaranteed it will change their behavior. The city has spent lots of money trying to convince poor, often dysfunctional people to develop regular medical habits by signing up for Medicaid and getting a primary-care doctor.

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. He argued that preventative care and access to primary care doctors will cut down on emergency room visits.

On Twitter, De Blasio wrote that there would be a public option and a new program called NYC Care. "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".

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The mayor made the historic surprise announcement Tuesday during the MSNBC morning program Morning Joe. "We're already paying an exorbitant amount to pay for health care the wrong way when what we should be doing is helping them get the primary care".

New York City is a sanctuary city that defies US immigration enforcement laws, protects illegal immigrants from deportation, and limits local cooperation with federal enforcement officers.

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 added, "Republicans in Washington are trying to tear down health care". 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. "That's the ideal, that what we need", de Blasio said. The mayor does not plan on raises taxes to pay for the plan.

The program is available to anyone who does not have an affordable insurance option, de Blasio said.

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