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.
On Tuesday, DeBlasio unveiled NYC Care, a program will guarantee health care for the estimated 600,000 New Yorkers who do not now have health insurance, according to the mayor's office.
De Blasio estimated that the city would spend about $100 million a year once the program is fully operating, in about two years.
Dividing $100 million by 600,000 people comes to about $170 per person-perhaps enough money to cover one annual wellness visit to a nurse-practitioner, assuming no lab work, prescriptions, or illnesses.
The premise is that it will be more cost-effective to give people regular medical care than to rely on hospital emergency rooms to treat serious health problems that could have been addressed at far less expense earlier.
The program is expected to launch this summer.
He told the news conference that he would love to see a single-payer health care system enacted by Congress or by NY state lawmakers, but "our people need health care right now".
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He said despite efforts to fully implement Obamacare, there are 600,000 city residents who lack insurance, including undocumented persons who can not access federal benefits.
The mayor specified that the plan would cover about 600,000 uninsured residents in the city, a number that includes illegal immigrants. "It is the worst way to get health care, it's the most expensive way to get health care".
The initiative would help provide primary and specialty care for the city's uninsured residents, according to de Blasio. "Our city's businesses will benefit from a more productive, healthier workforce". "It's knowing where you can go for care and feeling welcome when you go for care".
The mayor does not plan on raises taxes to pay for the plan. NYC Care is open to anyone who does not have an affordable insurance option and will be priced on a sliding scale, to ensure affordability. "By putting workers first, New York City's economy has never been stronger".
In 2014, a yearlong pilot program called "Action Health NYC" showed that enrollees were more likely to receive preventive care and diagnoses of chronic conditions.
"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", said de Blasio. "Get used to this criticism-you're going to hear a lot of it". "We're already paying an exorbitant amount to pay for health care the wrong way when what we should be doing is helping them get the primary care".