NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio guarantees comprehensive health care to all residents

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The basic premise: The approximately 600,000 uninsured people now living in New York City will gain free or affordable access to primary and secondary providers, thanks to a strengthened public insurance plan (the existing MetroPlus) and a new program called NYC Care.

The potentially $100 million plan will roll out this year and be expanded through the next several years, de Blasio announced Tuesday. Doctor visits will be priced on a sliding scale.

"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!"

"When this plan is fully implemented, every New Yorker who needs a doctor will have an actual doctor with a name and a place, they're going to have a card that will empower them to go to that doctor whenever they need", de Blasio said during Tuesday's press conference.

The initiative, dubbed NYC Care, will guarantee physical and mental health care for all 8.6 million people living in NY, de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

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De Blasio said the city will make NYC Care "seamless" so that "people are encouraged to get the health care they actually need and never get to the point where they end up in the emergency room". "Through our own public option and a new program called NYC Care, we'll ensure the first stop for people isn't the emergency room". '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 - including 300,00 undocumented New Yorkers'. This plan will give all of that directly to the people who don't have it in the city'. It provides no health coverage for residents traveling outside of the city, officials said at the news conference. They will also be eligible for specialty care, including pediatrics, OB-GYN, and mental health services.

But it's unclear how the program will be funded, and Republicans swiftly objected to using taxpayer dollars to pay for health care for those in the country illegally. Don't wait. Don't feel it's not for you. When you get people in front of a physician in a timely manner, when you avoid hospitalizations and intensive treatments, you cut out a staggering expense: Those savings are projected to help cover NYC Care.

Of the 8.6 million New Yorkers, the program will target the 600,000 that now don't have insurance, he said.

"You might say right at the jump is this something that ideally should be handled in Washington, D.C. or in Albany?" I want to make sure that's really, really clear. "That's the ideal, that what we need", de Blasio said.

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