New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that his city would begin to guarantee comprehensive health care to each New York City resident, regardless of immigration status.
“This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just ERs) for people who can’t afford it, or can’t get comprehensive Medicaid,” spokesman Eric Phillips wrote in a Twitter post.
The plan would include “300,000 undocumented New Yorkers,” Phillips wrote.
The plan will be called NYC Care, according to NBC New York, and include not just primary care, but specialty care including pediatrics, OBGYN care and other services that, according to de Blasio, are issues that residents of New York are currently going to the emergency room to solve.
“Health care is a right — not a privilege. Everyone needs a place to turn that isn’t an emergency room. That’s what NYC Care is all about,” de Blasio said during an interview on MNSBC Tuesday.
Health care is a right — not a privilege. Everyone needs a place to turn that isn’t an emergency room. That’s what NYC Care is all about. pic.twitter.com/FnGMutIP9j
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 8, 2019
“This has never been done in the country in a comprehensive way,” de Blasio said.
“Health care isn’t just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice. And we’re doing that here in this city.”
However, the services won’t be free to all. NBC New York reported that de Blasio’s plan includes a sliding scale for those who can afford to pay for the services.
“People will pay what they can” for care, de Blasio said.
He added, “we also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of our neighbors who happen to be undocumented. They’re still part of our community. They need health care; their families need health care.”
Those who can’t afford the services, however, will receive the new treatments being offered, for free.
In a Twitter post that followed de Blasio’s MSNBC appearance, Phillips included an estimate of how many uninsured de Blasio’s office thinks will be covered.
“Breaking news: Mayor tells @Morning_Joe & @WillieGeist that NYC will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every resident, regardless of someone’s ability pay or immigration status,” Phillips wrote.
“There are 600k uninsured in New York City right now.”
Breaking news: Mayor tells @Morning_Joe & @WillieGeist that NYC will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every resident, regardless of someone’s ability pay or immigration status. There are 600k uninsured in New York City right now. pic.twitter.com/AIl1eMS2qd
— Eric Phillips (@EricFPhillips) January 8, 2019
“The city already has the foundation for such a plan, a public health insurance option that helps get direct care to undocumented residents,” NBC New York reported.
“That option will be expanded, the mayor said, and supported with the addition of a new program called NYC Care.”
Program participants will access the program through the city’s website, NBC New York reported.
The mayor’s office said in a release, according to NBC New York, that “the programs will include customer-friendly call lines to help New Yorkers — regardless of their insurance — make appointments with general practitioners, cardiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and a full spectrum of health care services.”
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