Injured NYPD Officer: Where is my Affordable Healthcare?


This past Tuesday as most of us looked to start fresh for the new year, New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio held a press conference, propelling his progressive agenda to new heights by guaranteeing that every city resident, regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status, healthcare effective immediately. This program, cleverly named NYC Care, not only includes emergency coverage, but primary and specialty care, as well as prenatal, maternity, pediatric and mental health care, making New York City the east coast mecca for the uninsured. The city projects this coverage which is not considered healthcare, but rather the City paying direct for comprehensive healthcare to cost $100 million dollars annually for an estimated 600,000 uninsured, which includes approximately 300,000 undocumented immigrants. This however does not take into the consideration that this number will undoubtedly increase and not uninsured citizens and noncitizens begin their caravan to the City for free healthcare.

Although during Mayor de Blasio’s press conference with Lincoln Hospital and its workers as his backdrop, he stated “from this moment on”, the plan is not slated to begin until this summer. Outside of the immediate concern of having to pay for such a program which will be shouldered by the already overburdened NYC Taxpayer, medical professional in the NYC area also have concerns. Dr. Tamara Moise who supervises a NYC urgent care, told NBC News after the Mayors press conference that “the already burdened primary health system may not be able to handle an influx of 600,000 new patients.” This concern from an on the ground healthcare provider adds great questions to the Mayors plan where a large portion of his stated funding would come from the savings from less emergency room costly visits; When these 600,000 patients can’t see a primary doctor due to an appointment wait time of weeks or months, will they simply revert back to using the ER’s?

Now let’s get onto the cost factor for the NYC Taxpayer, and where my involvement as a retired New York City Police Department Detective becomes involved. This new comprehensive direct care system will be funded based on a “sliding scale and ability to pay.” Sound familiar? It should as it’s the basis of the newly elected NYC Socialist Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Marginal tax plan by taxing those who strive, work, and sweat to get ahead or become successful. Basically the more you make, the more you pay. Meaning, taxpayers, and yes NYPD Retirees like myself will be paying for those, including 300,000 undocumented immigrants who are given sanctuary in NYC.

I retired in 2003 due to injuries sustained in the line of duty and purchased health insurance through the NYC Health Benefits office, where most New York City employees/retirees receive their insurance from. Since 2003, my health insurance has risen over 300% to almost $1300 per month for family coverage, not including deductibles and copays. I literally broke my neck needing spinal fusion in service to the people of NYC, being both a ’93 WTC bombing responder and involved with the September 11thresponse and recovery, working in units such as Transit, Organized Crime, Narcotics, Detective squads, and the Homicide Task force, only to have my costs for coverage triple upon retirement.

After responding to the Mayors press conference and new plan via twitter, my plight obviously resonated with the American taxpayer garnishing two hundred thousand views and responses from those who know the nuts and bolts, inside out like 9/11 NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Associations President, Ed Mullins.

There is something greatly wrong when those who risk everything to serve a city are made second and third class priorities to those who do little to help themselves, or have a right to be here in the first place. Safety nets are needed, there’s no denying that. For decades no person is denied or refused medical care in NYC, but to roll out a magnet, underfunded, ill-conceived plan on the backs of hard working New Yorkers, only overpopulates a system adding a look at me resume boost for a termed out Mayor looking for his next higher office.

Rob O’Donnell began his career as a NYC Transit cop merging into the NYPD in 1995. Rob was promoted to Police Officer Special Assignment in 1997, and then to Detective in 2000 where he worked for the departments Organized Crime Control Bureau, Precinct Detective Squad, retiring out of one of the departments Homicide task forces in 2004.  During his career, Rob had been involved with both the 93 World Trade Center Bombing response/rescue, as well as response/recovery on September 11th. After retiring due to injuries sustained in the line of duty, Rob was also involved with the identification and investigation of the Fort Dix terror plot suspects in 2007 where he now calls home in Pennsylvania. He currently sits as Director of Business and Media Relations with Brothers Before Others.

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