NY mayor guarantees comprehensive healthcare to all

Level off city spending now De Blasio should pay careful attention to the tax burden in this year's budget

An expansion of the NYC Ferry, a new Mayor's Office to Protect Tenants, a plan to speed up MTA buses and free eyeglass for all pre-K and first graders were some of the promises Mayor Bill de Blasio made at his 2019 State of the City, reiterating his message to make NY the fairest big city in America. A third bill, also announced Wednesday, may have an impact on more New Yorkers than either.

After a pair of major announcements earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his annual State of the City address on Thursday. "Today we yet again pave the path towards a new generation of workers' rights that meet the needs and realities of today's workforce with the right to paid time off - a win-win for workers, employers, and our economy".

The mayor said, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, eight million New Yorkers now have health insurance, adding that the uninsured rate is about almost half of what it was in 2013.

Local public radio pointed out that the funding commitment still only works out to about $150 per person per year.

If de Blasio's proposal is approved by the City Council, New York City would become the first and only American city to require paid vacation. Patients will be matched with a primary care physician and guaranteed an appointment within a week or two.

NYC Care is set to launch later this year in the Bronx borough, becoming available across the entire city by 2021, according to a statement.

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Trump made reversing former president Barack Obama's health care law a key pledge of his campaign, and his Republican party successfully repealed in 2017 a key provision meant to keep overall costs down by ensuring healthy individuals bought insurance. Current NYC Health + Hospitals CEO Mitchell Katz previously oversaw the creation and implementation of Healthy San Francisco during his 13 years as director and health officer of the San Francisco Department of Health. Councilman Williams introduced a similar measure in 2014, but all prior attempts to pass paid personal time legislation have been unsuccessful. Since 2007, the for-profit school has paid NYC Health + Hospitals for the privilege of being the only global medical school whose students do rotations in the city health care system.

Currently, no USA city or state, or the federal government, requires firms to offer paid leave - making the U.S. unique among developed countries. The law would exempt firms with fewer than five employees from the requirement. The number of required days off would be pro-rated for part-time workers.

Councilmember Jumaane Williams said he was optimistic about de Blasio's progressive tone.

According to NYC's Open Data portal, there are now 8,452 lots of vacant, city-owned land in the city of NY. "There's plenty of money in this city", de Blasio said.

Rachel Grezsler, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said, "Coercive government mandates like this force employers to lay workers off, cut back on hours, reduce pay and other benefits and will force many to relocate outside of New York City to places where their businesses can survive". "Well-connected developers should not be getting sweetheart deals on the taxpayers' dime".

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