Mayor de Blasio, who’s positioning himself as a national progressive leader, came up with a new rationale Friday for supporting the nearly $3 billion in subsidies to lure Amazon to Long Island City: it’ll help pay for his $100 million expansion of health care to the needy.
“You are hitting the nail on the head,” the mayor said on Hot 97 radio’s “Ebro in the Morning.” “One of the reasons, I believed that the Amazon plan was so important for New York City is because it is going to bring in a vast amount of revenue. That’s going to allow us to do things like this.”
Progressives have been hammering the mayor — and Gov. Cuomo — for the huge subsidies they’re handing to the retail giant to open a second headquarters in Queens.
De Blasio has repeatedly defended the deal, arguing it’ll bring at least more 25,000 jobs to the city.
“I want a city that is fair for everyone and that means creating, for example, the right to healthcare in real life …,” he said on the radio show.
“I want to see public housing improve, more affordable housing, [but] all these things cost money, and that’s why when we can get a major company come in with 25,000 jobs and also a ton of tax revenue, it helps us pay for a much more muscular approach to these issues where we can pay for more and more people. That is exactly part of it.”
However, state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens), a former de Blasio administration aide who is critical of the Amazon subsidies, quickly fired back at her ex-boss on Twitter.
“We can win New Yorkers guaranteed, quality health care without displacing them first,” she wrote.
The mayor’s new healthcare initiative, hooking up 600,000 uninsured New Yorkers with doctors, starts in 2019 in The Bronx but won’t be fully phased-in citywide until 2021.
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