Mayor Bill de Blasio announces healthcare plan for NYC uninsured

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New York City will provide health care for all its residents regardless of their immigration status or ability to pay, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.

For the estimated 600,000 city residents who don't now have health insurance - because they can't afford what is on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange; because they're young and healthy and choose not to pay for insurance; or because they are undocumented - the city will provide a plan that will connect them to reliable care at a sliding-scale fee. The idea is to avoid going to an emergency room for non-emergency situations, freeing them up for their intended objective.

Inslee said 14 counties in Washington are at risk of losing any access to individual health insurance options.

The Legal Aid Society has also joined in the fight against De Blasio's bid to make harsher bail restrictions. Services at the health system's 11 hospitals and more than 70 clinics will be priced on a sliding scale, with those too poor to afford care receiving free services.

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. Aviles said that the city was renowned for its "significant innovations in expanding access to care for immigrants, including our financial assistance policies that provide deeply discounted fees for the uninsured, our comprehensive communications assistance for limited English proficiency patients, and our strictly enforced confidentiality policies that afford new immigrants a sense of security in accessing needed care".

"The emergency room is the default health care provider for so many people in this country", said de Blasio.

Health care isn't just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice.

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"No one should have to live in fear".

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.

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.

Dr. Mitchell Katz, the CEO of the public hospital system, said the city will hire additional primary-care doctors to meet an expected growth in demand.

Thank you @NYCMayor for your commitment to cover all NYC residents, including those who are undocumented; this is a big step in the right direction-but healthcare is still a human right, and must be extended to everyone in the state!

Walking and driving in New York City may be getting safer, according to new statistics that found that traffic deaths are at their lowest number in a century. We want people to have primary care, specialty care. His "health care for all" effort seems little different.

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