New York City launches $100 million universal health insurance program

Bill de Blasio

'NYC CARE': Mayor De Blasio to Unveil 'Free Healthcare' for Uninsured New Yorkers, Cost $100M

"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", writes NBC New York.

Watch live: Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the health care plan in video above.

De Blasio added, "Republicans in Washington are trying to tear down health care".

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.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the New York Immigration Coalition applauded de Blasio's effort to provide healthcare to all New York City residents and argued that comprehensive coverage "must be extended to everyone in the state". Bill de Blasio will hold a press conference announcing the details of the plan at 11 A.M. EST.

On Twitter, the Mayor wrote there would be an expansion to the public option and a new program called NYC Care.

"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!" Trying to water down Obamacare and debilitate it. Lots of time and energy has been put into taking away health care from tens of millions of people. He argued that preventative care and access to primary care doctors will cut down on emergency room visits. We're doing the opposite. "While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay". First we're getting you your health care. "We're already paying an exorbitant amount to pay for health care the wrong way when what we should be doing is helping them get the primary care".

Described by de Blasio as a bold healthcare initiative that "has never been done before in this country in this kind of comprehensive way", NYC Care would build upon the city's existing MetroPlus insurance system and spend an estimated $100 million per year to provide physical and mental health coverage, pediatric care, and other necessities to all residents.

'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. We're going the opposite direction. The emergency room is the worst way to get health care, it's the most expensive way to get health care, ' he said.

De Blasio said the plan will offer public health insurance on a sliding price scale that is based on income.

Residents will be able to access the program via the city's website or calling the city of NY at 311.

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