New York City launches $100 million universal health insurance program

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Bill de Blasio has announced that health care insurance in New York City is now going to be free to all regardless of immigration status. Gavin Newsom announced a sweeping new statewide health care initiative that also covers illegal immigrants. Rather, it involves bolstering MetroPlus for those who are eligible, and ensuring that those who can't sign up for insurance can use the city's public hospital and clinic program-NYC Health + Hospitals-for all their medical needs, including mental health and secondary services like pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, and substance abuse treatment.

According to de Blasio the annual cost of the program will be, at least, $100 million.

The plan, however, is not being welcomed by all Staten Island officials.

The program marks the Democratic mayor's effort to address the progressive priority of providing universal healthcare coverage.

The new program comes with a hefty price tag, an estimated $100 million annually. "We have a public option, that we're ready to make much bigger - a public health insurance option that can reach the hundreds of thousands that are, right now, not in any kind of health insurance".

The prospects for a statewide universal health care proposal in NY improved last fall when Democrats took control of the entire Legislature by winning a Senate majority. "Now, @nycmayor also wants them to pay for healthcare of 300,000 citizens of other countries". Add to those taxes city sales and property taxes. There are roughly 600,000 residents without health insurance, half of them undocumented immigrants.

Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte

In 2013, Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx announced a new "Integrated Wellness Program" targeting seriously mentally ill people with chronic health problems-the same population that tends to be uninsured, to neglect their own care, and to wind up in the emergency room when their diabetes or cardiovascular disease catches up with them. "It's not a win win for anybody". "I look forward to learning more about cost and logistics of this proposal".

"We recognized that obviously health care is not just in theory a right", De Blasio told media ahead of his announcement. "New Yorkers who can't enroll in or afford health insurance will now be able to access comprehensive, patient-centered services through NYC Care".

'The Republicans in Washington have been trying to tear down health care, we're doing the opposite, ' de Blasio said. "Sure", Gelinas said. "But for the majority of employers, places people would want to work for who have choices about where to work, they're already offering vacation".

"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", said de Blasio.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday announced his $100 million health care program to provide coverage and access to care to the 600,000 New Yorkers now without it, including undocumented and indigent residents.

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