In a surprise announcement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday the city will launch a program that offers health services to people who've been shut out of insurance options or affordable care, including illegal immigrants.
The plan will provide health care to the almost 600,000 New Yorkers now using the ER as a primary provider, according to de Blasio.
When the reporter further pressed the mayor for an answer, de Blasio said, "We're first getting people health 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.
When asked where funding was coming from, de Blasio didn't have an answer. When you get people in front of a physician in a timely manner, when you avoid hospitalizations and intensive treatments, you cut out a staggering expense: Those savings are projected to help cover NYC Care.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing a plan that would require companies to offer their workers 10 days of vacation time off each year.
He also said the plan was unfair to city employees as the city is trying to save on health care costs. The mayor's office was quick to say their plan, to be called NYC Care, would not be a substitute for any universal health care at the state level or a national single-payer plan. The difference, said NYC Health and Hospitals CEO Mitchell Katz, is in the coordination that these participants will receive to get quick access to a doctor instead of showing up to an emergency room or clinic to be checked out.
Fees for the NYC Care services will be based on sliding scale charges, meaning people will pay for health care services based on their income. It's part of a sweeping health care plan Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled just hours after being sworn into office Monday.
According to a local NBC network affiliate's report, the guaranteed healthcare will include "primary and specialty care, from pediatrics to OBGYN, geriatric, mental health and other services". The mayor said the "unprecedented approach" is projected to cover more than half-a-million uninsured New Yorkers who now use the emergency room as a primary provider. According to Politico, the unprecedented program will cost an estimated $100 million. His "health care for all" effort seems little different. An estimated 600,000 New Yorkers do not now have health insurance, according to the mayor's office.
How about the Mayor of New York City take care of the people that was born here, like the ones that are sleeping on our streets.
But it's unclear how the program will be funded, and Republicans swiftly objected to using taxpayer dollars to pay for health care for those in the country illegally.