New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the city would be providing all residents with health care.
"Our citizens have hard enough time covering their own healthcare costs", Nicole Malliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly who represents Brooklyn and Staten Island, tweeted.
"No one should have to live in fear". The mayor and aides said those residents tend to be healthy young adults who think they do not need insurance, and others who can not afford insured offered through their jobs, or the Affordable Care Act. "Everyone should have a right to affordable, safe, culturally sensitive, high-quality health care regardless of their economic situations", said Flatbush Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte. "And we're doing that here in this city".
It will also guarantee health care access to those ineligible for insurance, including illegal immigrants who live in NY. That's fine, as far as it goes, but as a transformative, revolutionary program, it resembles telling people to call the Housing Authority if they need an apartment and then pretending that the housing crisis has been solved.
There will be no tax increases to pay for this plan.
"This has never been done in the country in a comprehensive way", Mayor de Blasio said on MSNBC. The panel concluded, in the words of a Newsday editorial, that "for patients, emphasis would be on primary care instead of hurried emergency-room sessions and days of hospitalization".
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Another aspect of the plan, NYC Care, will guarantee insurance to New Yorkers regardless if they are ineligible for insurance or are undocumented.
De Blasio's announcement comes as Medicare for All and immigrant rights are being pushed into the political mainstream by progressive politicians and as the conservative Republican Trump administration has launched attacks against both.
"We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of neighbors who happen to be undocumented - they're still part of our community, they need health care, their families need health care", de Blasio added.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York City, Jan, 8, 2019. For there really isn't any magic wand to be waved over what health care does cost.
It's expected to take two years for NYC Care to be implemented.
"I have seen first- hand some of the disadvantages that our healthcare system deals to people who are of a different background than their provider, be it racially, culturally or economically". But while many liberal members of the Senate and Assembly say they favor an expansion of state-run health care, finding the money to pay for such a program would be challenging.