Bklyn Electeds React To De Blasio Guaranteed Healthcare Initiative


Brooklyn’s elected officials were overwhelmingly, but not unanimously supportive of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announced plan today to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers.

The plan will serve the 600,000 New Yorkers without insurance by strengthening NYC’s public health insurance option, MetroPlus, and guaranteeing anyone ineligible for insurance – including undocumented New Yorkers – has direct access to NYC Health + Hospitals’ physicians, pharmacies and mental health and substance abuse services through a new program called NYC Care.

All services will be affordable on a sliding scale. The programs will include customer-friendly call lines to help New Yorkers – regardless of their insurance – make appointments with general practitioners, cardiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and a full spectrum of health care services.

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams

“Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it,” said  de Blasio. “While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams hailed the announcement calling it a “watershed moment” for all New Yorkers.

“I firmly believe in every New Yorker’s right to accessing quality, affordable, and comprehensive health care, regardless of their financial means, immigration status, or personal circumstances. New York City can’t survive if New Yorkers can’t thrive. Building a city as large and diverse as ours requires that we have a robust health care system that understands and treats the holistic needs of each individual in need of care,” said Adams.

“Many Brooklynites live day-to-day without access to health coverage because they cannot afford the costs or are too afraid to navigate the health care system’s complex bureaucracy. As this plan moves forward, my administration looks forward to answers on questions such as the details of the plan’s financing, the impact on existing health care programs, and the quality of care that will be offered within the public option,” he added.

Jumaane Williams
City Council Member Jumaane Williams

City Council Member and Public Advocate Candidate Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood) thanked de Blasio for taking a leadership role on this “all-important issue.”

“I have been a longtime advocate for single-payer healthcare, and as we move toward the implementation of that policy for New York State, we should do all we can to provide universal coverage in our city. While many of the details of this plan still need to be expanded upon, and much relies on the implementation strategy of that plan, I am excited by the concept of using the tools we have to expand healthcare to the 600,000 New Yorkers currently left behind. I am also excited that both physical and mental health are taken into consideration,” said Williams.

Jo Anne Simon
Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon
Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon (D-Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill) said she is thrilled that the city has taken steps to provide this basic right to our 600,000 uninsured neighbors across NYC.

“Expanding enrollment in MetroPlus and providing affordable care through NYC Care regardless of insurance means that more New Yorkers will get the comprehensive services that they need,” she said.

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) was the lone dissenter to the plan thus far as she questioned the cost.

“As property taxes continue to rise at an unprecedented and unsustainable speed, impacting homeowners and renters alike, Mayor de Blasio continues to look for ways to spend their hard-earned money by placing a heavier burden on the hardworking taxpayers of this city,” said Malliotakis.

“Our citizens have a hard enough time covering their own healthcare costs and now Mayor de Blasio also wants them to pay for the healthcare of 300,000 citizens of other countries. The Mayor must stop abusing the middle class and treating us like his personal ATM,” she added.