How Will De Blasio's Health Care Plan Differ From The Current System?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a campaign against discrimination and harassment

New York City Mayor New York City will spend $100 million to provide health care for undocumented immigrants and others who can not qualify for insurance, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday morning, seeking to insert a city policy into two contentious national debates.

The plan will strengthen the city's existing public health insurance option, MetroPlus, and create a new program called NYC Care that guarantees those who are ineligible for insurance have access to services, including primary care and specialist doctors, pharmacies, mental health and substance abuse programs. Health experts say that access to regular medical visits can cut down on costly hospital stays. But the $100 million number assumes either that not all $600,000 uninsured individuals will need medical care, or that medical care will be provided at far below market value.

"No one should have to live in fear". And if health care insurance did cost $166 per person per year then it wouldn't be a problem, would it? "And we're doing that here in this city", he told host Willie Geist.

While some have expressed concerns about the decision to pay for the care of undocumented residents, many couldn't move past the improbable math provided by the city in its explanation about how it will pay for the coverage. If health care is now free in New York City then why would the other 7.5 million residents carry on paying tens of thousands a year for their own health care insurance? 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.

The mayor said all services would be affordable on a sliding scale for those who are able to pay a portion of the costs, while those who can not afford to pay will receive care for free.

"We are saying the word guarantee because we can make it happen", the mayor added, emphasizing that the program would be unprecedented in the United States.

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Susan Collins, R-Maine, who said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should take up funding bills from the Democrat-led House. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway says the group had a "robust exchange" and "questions were asked and answered".

The mayor made the historic surprise announcement Tuesday during the MSNBC morning program Morning Joe.

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.

Starting this summer, the city officials said, they will work to enroll undocumented residents through New York City Health + Hospitals, a network of public hospitals and clinics across the five boroughs.

NYC Care will not be fully implemented until 2021.

"The umbrella concept is crucial here", said de Blasio.

"To break those old habits and get them to rely upon a primary care provider does have to include convenience and access", he said.

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