Mayor de Blasio now takes his talent retooling existing city government services as quantum leaps toward human justice to the public Health + Hospitals network, committing to serve all comers, including undocumented immigrants, and sign up legions of New Yorkers for health insurance.
“This has never been done before in this country, in this kind of comprehensive way, it’s going to be for the first time a guarantee of health care,” de Blasio beamed Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Of course, H+H was already doing that — providing care regardless of ability to pay and enrolling New Yorkers in its longstanding MetroPlus public insurance program, which makes money for the city hospitals via Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies. Patients found doctors as culturally and linguistically diverse as the city they serve.
So what’s new? Commitments to step up insurance enrollment and customer service, while connecting patients to primary care doctors rather than having them show up first at the ER, all under the banner of NYC Care. More insured patients and less ER use will help keep the financially precarious H+H system in the black.
And an important breakthrough: the mayor himself urging his city to hug its public hospitals close, after watching them hemmorhage patients and money for too long while he attended to private hospitals and their union. Under the care of CEO Mitchell Katz, a sick system finally has a fair shot at recovery.