New York City will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every single resident regardless of someone's ability to pay or immigration status, an unprecedented plan that will protect the more than half-a-million New Yorkers now using the ER as a primary provider, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
De Blasio also said the city would not raise taxes to pay for the program and will use the city's public health care system to fund it.
The $100 million plan, dubbed "NYC Care", is created to provide health insurance for the 600,000 New Yorkers who have either opted out of purchasing insurance, can not afford the premiums available on the state's health-care exchange, or are ineligible for coverage because they are not citizens of the United States.
Part of the idea NYC Care, aides to the mayor said, was to ease that burden while providing better health care to New Yorkers. The city has spent lots of money trying to convince poor, often dysfunctional people to develop regular medical habits by signing up for Medicaid and getting a primary-care doctor.
"This is a big step in the right direction-but healthcare is still a human right, and must be extended to everyone in the state!"
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"Under NYC Care, 600,000 New Yorkers, including our undocumented brothers and sisters, will have access to healthcare", declared Winnie Wong, founder of the advocacy group People for Bernie. The plan will cover everyone regardless of ability pay or immigration status, according to a local news report. "You name it. The things that people need will be available to them". Asked if uninsured people-largely illegal immigrants-can get primary care now, Katz explained, "you can definitely walk into any emergency room, you can go to a clinic, but what is missing is the good customer service to ensure that you get an available appointment. that's what we're missing and the mayor is providing".
Health care, De Blasio announced, is now a "right" for anyone who gets sick in NYC.
There are now about 600,000 New Yorkers who were not able to be covered under Obamacare, many of them younger people who do not think they need insurance, he added.
De Blasio's announcement came after California's new Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined a similarly ambitious health care agenda for his state, aimed at offering more benefits to illegal immigrants and protecting the embattled Affordable Care Act. "That's the ideal, that what we need", de Blasio said. We want to increase the amount of healthcare that people can reach. His "health care for all" effort seems little different. By making people aware that they won't have to pay to see a doctor, or to pick up a prescription, the mayor expects to avert a huge cost.
"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", de Blasio said in a statement on Tuesday.