De Blasio Announces Healthcare For All NYC Residents, Regardless Of Immigration Status

Desiree Burns
January 9, 2019

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced a plan to provide health care for all New Yorkers, including those who can not qualify for health insurance such as undocumented immigrants.

Watch live: Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the health care plan in video above.

De Blasio seems unfazed by the idea that this might be a very expensive boondoggle, of course.

"New York City will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every single resident regardless of someone's ability to pay or immigration status, an unprecedented plan that will protect the more than half-a-million New Yorkers now using the ER as a primary provider", writes NBC New York. "In this city, we're going to make that a reality", de Blasio said.

He also said the program known as "NYC Care" is going to "revolutionize" health care because "people now, they are going to the emergency room - that is the default health care provider for so many people in this country".

"We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of neighbors who happen to be undocumented - they're still part of our community, they need health care, their families need health care", de Blasio added.

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Besides primary care, NYC Care will include maternity care, mental health care and other health services. But, aides said, it was something the city could do immediately and on its own.

It will be fully available across all five boroughs in 2021 at an estimated cost of $100 million a year. "But our people need healthcare right now".

New York City is a sanctuary city that defies USA immigration enforcement laws, protects illegal immigrants from deportation, and limits local cooperation with federal enforcement officers. What we're doing here in New York City? 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. I want to make sure that's really, really clear. It's going to save us money down the line'. By making people aware that they won't have to pay to see a doctor, or to pick up a prescription, the mayor expects to avert a huge cost. It is the worst way to get health care.

De Blasio said the plan will offer public health insurance on a sliding price scale that is based on income. 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.

The city's hospital system has been under severe financial strain and running deficits for years.

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