Sunday, 16 June, 2019

New York City Offers Health Care to Uninsured, Including Illegal Aliens - Mayor

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a campaign against discrimination and harassment NYC’s Bill de Blasio Guarantees ‘Free’ Health Care to All Including Illegal Aliens Drew Angerer AFP8 Jan 2019
Delores Daniels | 10 January, 2019, 22:12

In a surprise announcement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday the city will launch a program that offers health services to people who've been shut out of insurance options or affordable care, including illegal immigrants.

Claudia Calhoon, senior director of immigrant integration policy for the New York Immigration Coalition, said the program will include primary, preventive and specialty care and behavioral health services through New York City Health and Hospitals, the nation's largest public health-care system.

While contrasting NYC Care with the Republican effort to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, the mayor said the city's new program is specific to the needs of New York City and was likely not suitable to be applied at a state or national level.

The city plans to contribute $100 million in funding for NYC Care, which de Blasio described as "a really smart down payment on a lot of good things it'll yield later on".

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The program is meant to reach an estimated 600,000 city residents now without health insurance. "We want people to be in business and thrive, but we also want to make sure that people are protected", Councilman Jumaane Williams told CBS2's Marcia Kramer.

The proposal, which would have to win approval from the City Council, would make NY a pioneer in labor law. Patients will be matched with a primary care physician and guaranteed an appointment within a week or two. '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 300,00 undocumented New Yorkers'. He said that the undocumented often go to the ER for many health issues, regardless of severity, because they will not be asked for health documentation.

The NYC Care plan would improve that coverage, which already insures some 516,000 people, and aim to reach more of those who are eligible, such as the young and uninsured, and others who qualify but have not applied. There are roughly 600,000 residents without health insurance, half of them undocumented immigrants.

The policy is expected to benefit hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from a wide range of industries. The legislation is modeled in part after de Blasio's paid-sick-leave law, which was implemented by the city in 2014.

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NYC Care is set to begin in the Bronx this summer and will roll out to the rest of the boroughs by 2021. This plan will give all of that directly to the people who don't have it in the city'.

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

Adams called the mayor's move "a watershed moment" but also raised questions regarding the program's affordability, and how it will reshape NYC's existing health care system.

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