Medical

De Blasio Proposes 10 Days Of Paid Personal Time For NYC Workers

De Blasio Proposes 10 Days Of Paid Personal Time For NYC Workers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every single resident, he revealed in a historic surprise announcement.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday a plan to "guarantee health care to all New Yorkers".

"We're spending a lot of money right now and we're not spending it the way we want to because people go to the emergency room", de Blasio said at a news conference.

The $100 million plan will roll out this year and expand over the next few years, de Blasio said. It provides no health coverage for residents traveling outside of the city, officials said at the news conference. It will be fully available to all New Yorkers across the city's five boroughs in 2021. "We are saying the word "guarantee" because we can make it happen".

Sure, those gaining the sort of insurance reserved for the really rich on Wall Street or members of public unions will continue to get that private kind. But, aides said, it was something the city could do immediately and on its own, and not require approval from the State Legislature, which is weighing some form of universal health insurance for New York State. The panel concluded, in the words of a Newsday editorial, that "for patients, emphasis would be on primary care instead of hurried emergency-room sessions and days of hospitalization". The new plan provides insurance for visits to doctors outside of hospitals; health experts say that access to regular medical visits can cut down on costly hospital stays.

Health care, De Blasio announced, is now a "right" for anyone who gets sick in NYC.

De Blasio added, "Republicans in Washington are trying to tear down health care".

The program is expected to launch this summer.




De Blasio seems unfazed by the idea that this might be a very expensive boondoggle, of course. The mayor has styled himself, in his 2017 re-election campaign and during his second term, as a progressive leader on issues like education and health care, and as a bulwark against the policies of President Trump, particularly on immigration.

'Emergency rooms are the default health care provider for so many people in this country.

"New Yorkers need a break!" he declared, sarcastically dismissing concerns that the policy might have negative ramifications.

Mitchell Katz, MD, president and CEO of NYC Health and Hospitals, the city's public healthcare network, noted that prescription drugs are one thing most people are anxious about being able to afford, but "under this program, pharmaceutical costs are covered".

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

Otherwise, the city's estimate averages out to $160 per person in medical costs per year.

New Yorkers will be able to access the program through the city's website or by calling 311, and tax increases will not be necessary to fund it, the mayor said.