New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is getting a lot of national attention for announcing a health care for all plan but a New Yorker calls it nothing but a publicity stunt.
Declaring access to health care a human right, de Blasio has announced that universal coverage will be for all uninsured residents, regardless of income or immigration status.
"From this moment on," he said, "everyone in New York City is guaranteed the right to health care."
Seth Barron, associate editor of City Journal and project director of the NYC Initiative at the Manhattan Institute, says there's nothing new here.
"New York City has always provided free health care basically to anyone who wants it, including illegal immigrants in the city's public hospitals," he advises. "They don't ask you who you are. If you don't have insurance, it's fine."
As of now NYC officials plan to start so-called NYC Care this summer with full implementation by 2021.
Fox News Radio reports it will provide full access to physicians, pharmacies, and mental health services along with substance abuse treatments to the tune of around $100 million.
But look at the numbers, Barron says, because that's not much after you divide it by hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who qualify.
"There's a group of people who, for whatever reason, maybe they're mentally ill, maybe they're homeless, maybe they really just can't get their act together, and so they don't even sign up for Medicaid," he says. "These are also people who tend to wait until they're really sick and then they just go to the Emergency Room, which can be very expensive."
For example, if you have a sore on your leg, Barron says you can go to a regular doctor or a clinic and get it treated, or you can wait until it turns into something bad and then it's very expensive to treat.
"New York City has a lot of illegal aliens, maybe half a million, 800,000 and these are people who are not eligible for Medicaid," he continues. "The city just pays outright for their treatments, and a lot of them also use the emergency room, so basically what de Blasio is trying to do is get them to go to medical appointments, which would be cheaper in the long run. But like I said, this is very similar to what's happened before."