De Blasio Says City Will ‘Guarantee Health Care For All New Yorkers’

NYC to provide a $100M 'public option' for healthcare to city's 600,000 uninsured de Blasio says

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. There are approximately 600,000 New Yorkers without health care coverage.

New York City is a sanctuary city that defies USA immigration enforcement laws, protects illegal immigrants from deportation, and limits local cooperation with federal enforcement officers. "We are saying the word "guarantee" because we can make it happen", he announced, pledging to put $100 million toward the new initiative.

The plan isn't an individual insurance plan or a single-payer health program such as the Medicare for All plan touted by progressives.

The mayor himself also took to Twitter to share the health care directive: "Today I'm announcing a plan to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers".

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The programs will cost the city an estimated $100 million a year to operate. It is expected to launch in the Bronx first this summer, and be available in the other boroughs by 2021.

The emergency room is the "default health care provider for so many people in this country", de Blasio said.

"Health care isn't just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice".

He also said that no new taxes would be issued to pay for the plan, noting that "we're going to pay for" this "through our public health care system because we're making it a priority".

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De Blasio added, "Republicans in Washington are trying to tear down health care". Officials hope to get the program up and running within two years, and while they weren't able to project wait times for secondary physicians, they hope that participants won't have to wait more than a week or two to see a primary doctor.

"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", De Blasio concluded. "A primary care doctor, an actual person that you can turn to that's your doctor, and the specialty services that will make all the difference", de Blasio said. However, de Blasio believes it will ultimately save the city money by drastically reducing residents' trips to the emergency room. As a result, they end up in the emergency room for complaints great and small, typically receiving care for a problem that's become much more serious during the wait. "And we're doing that here in this city".

De Blasio said that when the program is fully implemented it will be the most comprehensive health care system in the country.

President and CEO of the NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz said because it was a "comprehensive clinic" if someone needed hospital services, the city would help them get to another Health + Hospital facility. "Then we're working out the finances".

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