"When this plan is fully implemented, every New Yorker who needs a doctor will have an actual doctor with a name and a place, they're going to have a card that will empower them to go to that doctor whenever they need", de Blasio said during Tuesday's press conference. "They're still a part of our community, they need health care, their families need health care".
The plan, which isn't precisely a plan - details are scant on how the system will actually work - will cover everything from mental health services, to well visits, to maternity care for New Yorkers who choose to go without insurance, or who can't afford even the basic, public insurance option that New York City already offers, and aren't signed up for "Obamacare" options on the state exchange. But, aides said, it was something the city could do immediately and on its own. The mayor is trying to do what some of his predecessors attempted-shift patients away from the emergency room and into primary care, or clinics.
De Blasio explained he wants the plan to stop uninsured New Yorkers from using the ER as their primary care provider, and believes NYC Care will actually save the city money. When you get people in front of a physician in a timely manner, when you avoid hospitalizations and intensive treatments, you cut out a staggering expense: Those savings are projected to help cover NYC Care. Mayor de Blasio is an expert at unveiling cloud-castles and proclaiming himself a master builder. We're going the opposite direction.
"As property taxes continue to rise at an unprecedented and unsustainable speed, impacting homeowners and renters alike, Mayor de Blasio continues to look for ways to spend their hard earned money by placing a heavier burden on the hardworking taxpayers of this city", said Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who challenged de Blasio in the last election. "Now, @nycmayor also wants them to pay for healthcare of 300,000 citizens of other countries".
De Blasio's announcement came after California's new Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined a similarly ambitious health care agenda for his state, aimed at offering more benefits to illegal immigrants and protecting the embattled Affordable Care Act.
Under de Blasio's program, 600,000 estimated uninsured residents will soon be insured. The emergency room is the worst way to get health care, it's the most expensive way to get health care, ' he said. He added that the program will be up and running this year and will be built out over the next few years.