Mayor says NYC will expand health coverage to 600000 people

Bill de Blasio at a press conference announcing NYC Care

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday issued a bold guarantee of affordable health care for every resident, thrusting the nation's largest city to the forefront of debates over universal health coverage and immigrant rights.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will unveil legislation Wednesday mandating two weeks of paid time off for workers in the city, a move that would guarantee paid time off for an additional 500,000 people.

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.

The mayor tweeted "Through our own public health option and a new program called NYC Care, we'll ensure the first stop for people isn't the emergency room".

The project is expected to cost at least US$100 million a year when it achieves its full scale.

"Undocumented young adults should not have to worry about losing their health coverage when they turn 19", said Newsom, describing the effort as "another major step toward universal coverage".

'We want to increase the amount of health care people can reach.

New York City taxpayers are burdened by a city income tax on top of New York State and federal income taxes they must pay.

The city claims that this is not an insurance program; it already has a public option.

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In addition, the San Francisco program required employers to pay for some of it, while New York City found a way around that, de Blasio pointed out. And because more people will get preventive care, the city might actually save money, he added.

Half of that group can't get health insurance due to their immigration status, de Blasio said, while the remainder includes young people who don't think they need coverage and people who find the Affordable Care Act exchanges unaffordable or hard to navigate.

"To break those old habits and get them to rely upon a primary care provider does have to include convenience and access", he said. First we're getting you your health care. Undocumented immigrants will also be included in the plan. "All New Yorkers should have access to this kind of high-quality care".

But how to pay for it became the biggest question during de Blasio's announcement.

Unlike the MetroPlus plan, NYC Care is a program that leverages the city's hospital system. He argued that preventative care and access to primary care doctors will cut down on emergency room visits.

Otherwise, the city's estimate averages out to $160 per person in medical costs per year.

The plan isn't an individual insurance plan or a single-payer health program such as the Medicare for All plan touted by progressives.

Also, the city will use NYC Care to connect New Yorkers who are not eligible for health insurance, especially the undocumented or those who can't afford coverage, to health care.

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