Bill de Blasio unveils plan for universal health care

Bill de Blasio unveils plan for universal health care

New York City on Tuesday launched a $100-million USA health insurance program to cover 600,000 uninsured city residents, including those unable to afford coverage and people living in the United States illegally, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

"We're going to guarantee health care for New Yorkers who need it", de Blasio told MSNBC's "Morning Joe".

"Our citizens have hard enough time covering their own healthcare costs", Nicole Malliotakis, a member of the New York State Assembly who represents Brooklyn and Staten Island, tweeted. "We have to make it in practice a right".

Proponents of a nationwide Medicare for All system were quick to applaud de Blasio's plan as a major victory for health justice and a significant step toward the establishment of a statewide single-payer system in NY.

The $100 million plan will roll out this year and expand over the next few years, de Blasio said.

NYC Care will launch in the summer of 2019 and cost at least $100 million annually at full scale.

De Blasio says that when people know their health care is guaranteed it will change their behavior.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx borough of New York City New York U.S

"Health care is a human right". Aviles said that the city was renowned for its "significant innovations in expanding access to care for immigrants, including our financial assistance policies that provide deeply discounted fees for the uninsured, our comprehensive communications assistance for limited English proficiency patients, and our strictly enforced confidentiality policies that afford new immigrants a sense of security in accessing needed care".

De Blasio said, as it is, people are using the emergency room as "default health care provider for so many people in this country".

It's expected to take two years for NYC Care to be implemented. Once the program is fully operational, interested parties can either call 311 or visit nyc.gov, and staff will set them up with a primary care contact. "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". First we're getting you your health care.

Asked about how the program would work in places like Staten Island without a public hospital, de Blasio emphasized that the Vanderbilt Clinic was open and that MetroPlus would work everywhere "so that's half the people". We're doing the opposite.

'If we don't help people get the health care, we're going to pay plenty on the back-end when people get really sick, ' he said.

The mayor's office insists the NYC Care program is not intended as a substitute for a universal health insurance plan that some Democratic state legislators are pushing for, or a national single-payer plan.

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