MAYOR BILL De Blasio (second from right) announces a plan to offer low-cost or free health insurance to low-income New Yorkers.
The basic premise: The approximately 600,000 uninsured people now living in New York City will gain free or affordable access to primary and secondary providers, thanks to a strengthened public insurance plan (the existing MetroPlus) and a new program called NYC Care.
During a news conference at a Bronx hospital that is part of the city's network of public hospitals and clinics, de Blasio said repeatedly that he would prefer a federal or state single-payer health care system.
The $100 million plan will roll out this year and expand over the next few years, de Blasio said. "It's being treated in a language you can understand by people who actually care about your health and well-being".
"We are saying the word guarantee because we can make it happen", the mayor added, emphasizing that the program would be unprecedented in the United States.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state proposed a statewide public health insurance option available to anyone who is not covered by an employer.
'We have now, in New York City, a public health insurance option we're ready to make much bigger that can reach the hundreds of thousands that are right now not in any kind of health insurance'. "New Yorkers who can't enroll in or afford health insurance will now be able to access comprehensive, patient-centered services through NYC Care".
"It's going to be really important for people who have felt excluded from the system or didn't know how to get services", she said, "or imagined that "H and H" only has emergency-department services". It's going to be for the first time a guarantee of health care.
Unlike the MetroPlus plan, NYC Care is a program that leverages the city's hospital system. The healthcare-for-all plan is not limited to American citizens and would also include individuals who can not afford their existing plans. "We as a country must get there, and New York City will lead the way", de Blasio said.
Thiessen said the same claim was made after ObamaCare was passed, however, emergency room visits did not decline as predicted but instead increased.
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Mitchell Katz, MD, president and CEO of NYC Health and Hospitals, the city's public healthcare network, noted that prescription drugs are one thing most people are anxious about being able to afford, but "under this program, pharmaceutical costs are covered". This plan will give all of that directly to the people who don't have it in the city'.
Funding for the new program will require no tax hikes, the mayor said.
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