New York City launches $100 million universal health insurance program

Mayor Bill de Blasio is guaranteeing health coverage for every resident in New York City

In a historic move, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday revealed plans to provide guaranteed health care to every resident of the city - including people who are in the country illegally.

The liberal mayor said the plan will serve the 600,000 New Yorkers who don't have insurance by strengthening NYC's public health insurance option, MetroPlus. It will cover all five boroughs by 2021, costing at least $100 million on an annual basis, the city said.

The mayor said all services would be affordable on a sliding scale for those who are able to pay a portion of the costs, while those who can not afford to pay will receive care for free.

"More than 500,000 hard-working men and women should earn paid personal time when they contribute to the success of their companies", de Blasio said in an email.

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

Eric Philips, de Blasio's press secretary, later clarified that the plan is not health insurance. Currently, about 600,000 New Yorkers are uninsured.

The mayor said he believes the program will ultimately save taxpayers money because participants in NYC Care will be able to get routine care in a doctor's office as opposed to more expensive emergency room services. The answer: Mayor de Blasio is not really proposing anything new; nor is he planning to expand services or care to anyone now ineligible.

Thiessen said the same claim was made after ObamaCare was passed, however, emergency room visits did not decline as predicted but instead increased.

Primary care, mental health and substance abuse services will be affordable on a sliding scale. It's part of a sweeping health care plan Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled just hours after being sworn into office Monday.

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.

And as the Trump administration erodes the Affordable Care Act, the mayor's promise is the most ambitious of a spate of Democratic efforts to protect and expand the law's insurance gains and consumer protections at the local and state level.

"No one should have to live in fear", the mayor said.

"We don't want people to go out of business".

But how is the new $100 million health care plan different from what is already being offered through the city? "It is the worst way to get health care". The healthcare-for-all plan is not limited to American citizens and would also include individuals who can not afford their existing plans.

Correct. NYC already has a public option.

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.

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