Weiner: Undocumented Workers Should Have Health Care

By Genevieve Belmaker, Epoch Times
June 21, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

NEW YORK—Facing a room of rather serious, mostly middle-aged and middle class New Yorkers, mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner got into the details of his health care plan on Thursday, June 20.

His ideas are part of his larger vision, 64 Ideas to Keep New York the Capital of the Middle Class, that he released before announcing his candidacy for mayor. Between slides on an extremely complex PowerPoint presentation, Weiner talked about how he sees New York’s health care future shaping up should he be elected to office. With an annual cost of $15.7 billion to New Yorkers annually, he had the attention of the room.

“We are not going to get the cost of health care to zero,” he said at one point, adding that there are ways to reduce the cost to a more reasonable amount. “Visualize this as being like Medicare for all New Yorkers,” he said.

Part of his plan to make health care financially solvent is to ask municipal workers, who now pay nothing, to put something into the pot. Under his plan, city workers and those on pensions would pay 10 percent of their health care, while those who smoke would pay 25 percent. 

Weiner also touched on accessibility, particularly for New York City’s 500,000 undocumented immigrants. Though there is not one mention of undocumented immigrants in his original plan, he said that those workers should be covered.

“Who are we penalizing when we don’t cover the undocumented?” asked Weiner. “We’re really penalizing ourselves.”