Undocumented immigrants could benefit from expanded health coverage in NYC

Leslie Hanson
January 10, 2019

Declaring that healthcare is "a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", New York City's Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday unveiled a plan that he said will guarantee comprehensive medical coverage to all 8.6 million city residents, including undocumented immigrants.

MAYOR BILL De Blasio (second from right) announces a plan to offer low-cost or free health insurance to low-income New Yorkers.

"We're spending a lot of money right now and we're not spending it the way we want to because people go to the emergency room", de Blasio said at a news conference.

De Blasio explained he wants the plan to stop uninsured New Yorkers from using the ER as their primary care provider, and believes NYC Care will actually save the city money.

City residents will be able to access the new program on the local government's website or by calling 311. "It's being treated in a language you can understand by people who actually care about your health and well-being".

In his inaugural speech on Monday, California's new Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to establish a similar program to the one unveiled by NY.

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

De Blasio told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the city would not raise taxes but would instead fund the program through the city's public health care system, which is now in better financial shape after years of dire straits.

Amongst the city's roughly 600,000 uninsured that will be guaranteed such care are an estimated 300,000 so-called undocumented New Yorkers - i.e., illegal aliens.

"People from all over the country are going to flood into NY to get their free health care", Thiessen said, adding that he had advice for taxpayers in the country's largest city who will foot the bill. "A primary care doctor, an actual person that you can turn to that's your doctor, and the specialty services that will make all the difference". The healthcare-for-all plan is not limited to American citizens and would also include individuals who can not afford their existing plans.

Unlike the MetroPlus plan, NYC Care is a program that leverages the city's hospital system. Mayor de Blasio is an expert at unveiling cloud-castles and proclaiming himself a master builder. "All New Yorkers should have access to this kind of high-quality care". Health experts say that access to regular medical visits can cut down on costly hospital stays. "The city has 4.5 million workers, public and private, this will affect half a million people".

While the City Council is overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, the plan is likely to engender opposition from the city's business community, which has already cried foul over the mayor's tax increases.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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