NY announces US$100 million universal health care plan

NY announces US$100 million universal health care plan

Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen warned New York City residents of "skyrocketing" public costs after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan to insure all residents for free, regardless of immigration status.

ABC News reports that de Blasio's new plan, NYC Care, isn't exactly a "universal health care" plan, but rather a "guarantee" that city will pay for preventative medical care for an estimated 600,000 who do not have insurance, but live within the boundaries of New York City.

"The programs will include customer-friendly call lines to help New Yorkers - regardless of their insurance - make appointments with general practitioners, cardiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and a full spectrum of health care services", de Blasio's office claimed in a release.

The city plans to spend at least $100 million per year on the 600,000 or so who don't qualify for insurance or are in the country illegally can receive medical treatment, the New York Times reported.

The program is meant to reach an estimated 600,000 city residents now without health insurance. And if health care insurance did cost $166 per person per year then it wouldn't be a problem, would it?

The New York Times reported that de Blasio's announcements come as the New York state legislature, which is now controlled by Democrats, begins examining its own statewide universal healthcare system. "Today we celebrate our city's relentless commitment to accessible, high-quality healthcare", Palacio continued. A city spokesman said, though, the new program is not health insurance, but the city paying for direct comprehensive care for patients, WNBC-TV reported. And because more people will get preventive care, the city might actually save money, he added.

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The plan, which needs city council approval, would make New York City the first city in the nation with such a requirement. According to de Blasio the message will be, "Go get the health care you need when you need it".

Bill de Blasio at a press conference announcing NYC Care.

"New Yorkers need a break!" he declared, sarcastically dismissing concerns that the policy might have negative ramifications. First we're getting you your health care.

When asked why people should pay to insure undocumented immigrants, de Blasio answered: "You can pay me now or you can pay me later". The answer: Mayor de Blasio is not really proposing anything new; nor is he planning to expand services or care to anyone now ineligible. "Let's say they're having an after-hours issue and need understanding about where to get a prescription filled".

The current financial plan for city hospitals projects budget shortfalls of over $156 million in 2018, increasing to $1.8 billion in 2022, according to the city's Independent Budget Office.

Funding for the new program will require no tax hikes, the mayor said.

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