Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen warned New York City residents of "skyrocketing" public costs after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan to insure all residents for free, regardless of immigration status.
The program will strengthen NYC's public health insurance plan, MetroPlus, to make it more affordable for all New Yorkers, while simultaneously implementing NYC Care, which will connect persons ineligible for insurance the access to NYC Health + Hospitals' physicians, pharmacies and mental health and substance abuse services.
De Blasio explained a day earlier that the plan, referred to as "NYC Care", will reach almost 600,000 New Yorkers and cost taxpayers at least $100 million.
'We want to increase the amount of health care people can reach.
Residents will be able to access the program via the city's website or calling the city of NY at 311. But unless this public option is really, really, bad there'll be an awful lot of people who decide that dropping the insurance plan and relying upon the city will do just fine.
Indeed, NYC Care would be a mix of insurance and direct spending.
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.
"Under NYC Care, 600,000 New Yorkers, including our undocumented brothers and sisters, will have access to healthcare", declared Winnie Wong, founder of the advocacy group People for Bernie.
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. The mayor has styled himself, in his 2017 re-election campaign and during his second term, as a progressive leader on issues like education and health care, and as a bulwark against the policies of President Trump, particularly on immigration. "The emergency room truly should be the last resort". There are roughly 600,000 residents without health insurance, half of them undocumented immigrants. "The things that attract companies to being in NY in the first place won't just go away when something like this is put into action".
The NYC Care program launches in the summer of 2019. Mayor de Blasio is an expert at unveiling cloud-castles and proclaiming himself a master builder. Health experts say that access to regular medical visits can cut down on costly hospital stays. For example, "here, psychotherapy is a covered benefit; that's not true in San Francisco. and the current program [there] has an enrollment of about 20,000 people; that's a New York City block".
The city's plan is similar to programs that have been established elsewhere like the Healthy San Francisco initiative but is broader, said Katz, who has previously led health agencies in San Francisco and Los Angeles.