New York’s mayor, Bill De Blasio, recently announced that New York is officially on its way to becoming the first city in America to ensure that all New Yorkers (including the undocumented) will have comprehensive and affordable healthcare. Given the Republicans’ effort to dismantle Obamacare, this would be an incredible accomplishment. With the Right’s mindset that government funded healthcare is “socialized medicine” alongside the powerful grip of corrupt politicians by the greedy pharmaceutical, hospital and insurance industries; Mayor De Blasio is a hero for taking matters into his own hands. If he can make this plan a reality, it would be considered a monumental achievement and the Mayor should be hailed as a pioneering politician that has initiated a seismic shift in the philosophical and political landscape of the American healthcare delivery.
After listening to his press conference in which he announced his plan, it looks like De Blasio has understood the key principles necessary to achieve universal healthcare to all New Yorkers. The first among those is the basic, fundamental philosophical principle that he reiterated time and again; that healthcare is not a privilege but a human right. I truly believe this is the most important ideal the nation, as a whole, has to accept in its collective consciousness if universal healthcare is to become a reality in America. The mayor has embraced that core belief wholeheartedly and guaranteed comprehensive healthcare to every New Yorker.
The second principle he spoke about is the need for access to preventive and primary care doctors. When thousands of uninsured and underinsured citizens are guaranteed healthcare and connected to primary care doctors, the burden of unaffordable premiums, deductibles and copays will be lifted off their minds. This would facilitate as well as help persuade individuals to seek preventive and early medical care. The Mayor’s administration has partnered with NYC Health + Hospitals, to bring about lowered city medical expenditure. These significant savings are being used to provide quality health care to more and more uninsured and underinsured. Because emphasis on preventive and primary care decreases healthcare expenditures, De Blasio has allocated an additional 100 million dollars in the city budget to provide guaranteed healthcare to 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers. He believes that money will be worth the bang for the buck.
The third important principle, which has already been put into place, is in New Yorkers having a public option, MetroPlus Health Plan. The objective of this health plan is comprehensive medical care for the sick New Yorkers irrespective of their ability to pay. There is no greed or motive for profit here. Hopefully, many citizens will realize that a not for profit public option is a better choice, as well as an alternative to the greedy for-profit health insurance companies. If many citizens enroll in a public option, there is a chance the greedy for-profit insurance companies can be reined in or put out of business. The recruiting efforts and activism of people involved in Get Covered NYC have already brought in many uninsured into the ACA Exchanges and have also given the choice to enroll into the public option of Metro Plus Health Plan.
Finally, the mayor recognizes that mental health is equally as important to that of physical health. Thrive NYC is the coordinating mental health component of his healthcare plan being guaranteed to all New Yorkers.
Since the mayor has all the necessary pieces in place to achieve universal healthcare for all New Yorkers, I believe it will be accomplished! It is not a single payer plan but integration and coordination of all the existing healthcare delivery components under NYC Care with emphasis on continued improvement of the healthcare delivery. The mayor does recognize the simplest and the best option to provide comprehensive healthcare to all Americans is realizing the Medicare for All legislation, HR 676 at Capitol Hill. How feasible is that reality? I must say, the most important ingredient necessary to make this possible, is the will of politicians in Congress and the President to guarantee healthcare to all citizens.
Kudos, again to Mayor De Blasio for having the political will and appealing to the collective humanity of Americans. It all started as a firm belief in his compassionate heart and thoughtful mind, that healthcare is not a privilege but a fundamental human right!
Mind is Everything, what you think you become! -Buddha