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New York City will spend $ 100 million to provide health care to undocumented immigrants and those who can not claim insurance, said Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday, seeking to insert a city policy into two controversial national debates.
During his re-election campaign in 2017 and during his second term, the mayor himself has qualified as a progressive leader on issues such as health care and against the policies of President Trump, including in matters of immigration.
In making the announcement on national television, Mr. de Blasio seemed to be trying to intensify this contrast and focus his efforts on behalf of undocumented New Yorkers on the national immigration debate, hours before Mr. Trump does not appear on television Tuesday night. to make his case for a border wall.
The mayor was to provide details at a press conference later in the morning at the Bronx Lincoln Hospital.
The announcement on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" comes as the newly-controlled national legislature of the Democrats in Albany is considering a form of universal health insurance for the state of New York. The mayor's office was quick to say that his plan, called NYC Care, would not replace a state-wide universal health care system or a single-payer national plan. But, said the assistants, it was something that the city could do immediately and on its own.
In fact, NYC Care would be a mix of insurance and direct expenses. The city already has some kind of public health insurance option for low-income New Yorkers, through an insurance plan run by hospitals in the city and known as MetroPlus.
The New York Care Plan would improve this coverage, which already provides some 516,000 people, and aims to reach a larger number of eligible people, such as youth and uninsured, as well as other eligible individuals who did not apply.
It would also provide direct city expenditures, of about $ 100 million a year when fully implemented, to people without insurance, including undocumented immigrants, who may already be receiving care at the halls of the city. 39 emergency hospitals run by the city.
"Health care is a right and not a privilege for those who can afford it," said the mayor of Blasio.
The details of how people seeking care could do it under the new plan were not clear to reading The city announced last week that an ambitious goal of providing MetroCards at about 800,000 people whose incomes are below the federal poverty line would begin this month with cards for only about 30,000 people, or about 4% of the total.
"It's the city that pays for direct comprehensive care (not just CSR) for people who can not afford it or who do not have access to full Medicaid – including 300,000 New Yorkers undocumented, "spokesman Eric Phillips wrote on Twitter.
The hospital system in the city has been facing serious financial difficulties and deficits for years. According to the mayor's help, NYC Care's goal was to alleviate this burden while providing better health care for New Yorkers.
The current financial plan for city hospitals projects budget deficits of more than $ 156 million in 2018, which are expected to reach $ 1.8 billion in 2022, according to the city's independent budget office.