New York City To Roll Out Program Guaranteeing Health Care to Residents

10 January, 2019, 22:12 | Author: Sherman Richardson
  • Bill de Blasio

"The Heritage Foundation, that reputable organization, [is] telling us that this is going to destroy the economy", de Blasio said. "To be the fairest big city in America, New Yorkers can't be forced to choose between bringing home a paycheck and taking time off to just disconnect or spend time with loved ones - that choice ends with Paid Personal Time. We are saying the word "guarantee" because we can make it happen".

De Blasio's $100 million commitment was laden with political significance. First, officials will work to increase enrollment in MetroPlus, which is New York's public health insurance option. He and aides said that 8 million New Yorkers have health insurance, including 130,000 with health plans sold through a state-run marketplace created under the law.

The city claims that this is not an insurance program; it already has a public option.

"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", said de Blasio.

Under NYC Care, a full spectrum of health care services, ranging from general practitioners to specialty care including cardiologists, pediatricians and gynecologists, will be made available on a sliding pay scale.

The NYC Care program launches in the summer of 2019.

Residents will be able to access the program via the city's website or calling the city of NY at 311.

Notably, the press release lacked many details on how the city will fund the plan and how much enrollees would have to pay. They need it right now. Typically, the uninsured go to an emergency room to be seen. "This is going to be a difference-maker in their lives". "But our people need healthcare right now". 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". For there really isn't any magic wand to be waved over what health care does cost.

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The emergency room is the "default health care provider for so many people in this country", de Blasio said.

De Blasio spoke about the plan on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," boasting that "this has never been done in the country in this kind of a comprehensive way". What do they all have in common?

HHC director Mitchell Katz practically admitted that the mayor's announcement of guaranteed health care for all is just fanfare, amounting to more "enabling services" for already-existing programs. "We want people to be in business and thrive, but we also want to make sure that people are protected", Councilman Jumaane Williams told CBS2's Marcia Kramer.

"New Yorkers need a break!" he declared, sarcastically dismissing concerns that the policy might have negative ramifications.

By 2021, all New Yorkers in the city's five boroughs will have access to free health care. In his remarks, de Blasio was clear where he stands. "We want it to be seamless; if you have questions, here's where to call".

Paul Sonn, state policy program director at the left-leaning National Employment Law Project, said the legislation could also help address the growing number of hours Americans are working without greater benefits or pay. "And we can get it to them". Health experts say that access to regular medical visits can cut down on costly hospital stays.

Katz noted that NYC Care is a more encompassing program than the one developed in San Francisco, where he used to work. "The city has 4.5 million workers, public and private, this will affect half a million people".

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