New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC that the city will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every single resident regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status:
We’ll put the money in to make it work; it’s going to save us money down the line. We’re already paying an exorbitant amount to pay for health care the wrong way when what we should be doing is helping them get the primary care.
This has never been done in the country in a comprehensive way. Health care isn’t just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice. And we’re doing that here in this city.
According to de Blasio, plan will protect the more than half-a-million New Yorkers who are using the ER as their primary provider (a failed health care tactic advocated by former President George W. Bush and Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah), notes WNBC.
The mayor’s spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted: “This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just ERs) for people who can’t afford it, or can’t get comprehensive Medicaid — including 300,000 undocumented New Yorkers.”
De Blasio told a press conference that the plan will provide primary and specialty care, from pediatrics to OBGYN, geriatric, mental health and other services.
People who seek health coverage through NYC Care will receive a card that allows them to see a primary care doctor and seek specialty care services, de Blasio said.
De Blasio explained that people who can afford to pay will pay for services on a sliding scale, while those who can’t will receive free coverage in the $100 million program.
New Yorkers will be able to access the program through the city’s website or simply by calling 311.
(Sources: WNBC, MSNBC)