De Blasio says every resident in NYC will be guaranteed health care

New York City Mayor New York City will spend $100 million to provide health care for undocumented immigrants and others who can not qualify for insurance, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday morning, seeking to insert a city policy into two contentious national debates.

The health care programs will include customer-friendly call lines to help New Yorkers "make appointments with general practitioners, cardiologists, pediatricians, gynecologists and a full spectrum of health care services", the news release said.

The option will also provide healthcare to undocumented immigrants, said de Blasio, because they are still part of the community.

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.

The city plans to contribute $100 million in funding for NYC Care, which de Blasio described as "a really smart down payment on a lot of good things it'll yield later on". Bill de Blasio will hold a press conference announcing the details of the plan at 11 A.M. EST.

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

The liberal mayor said the plan will serve the 600,000 New Yorkers who don't have insurance by strengthening NYC's public health insurance option, MetroPlus.

De Blasio's announcement came after California's new Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined a similarly ambitious health care agenda for his state, aimed at offering more benefits to illegal immigrants and protecting the embattled Affordable Care Act. He said the city will make sure the process is "seamless". "But our people need healthcare right now. And we can get it to them".

New York City is a sanctuary city that defies US immigration enforcement laws, protects illegal immigrants from deportation, and limits local cooperation with federal enforcement officers. "And we're doing that here in this city", he told host Willie Geist. "For people who have the ability to pay, we'll be expecting that people pay what they can". We're going the opposite direction.

"We're gonna work for those bigger changes", the mayor said. "Now, @nycmayor also wants them to pay for healthcare of 300,000 citizens of other countries".

De Blasio said the plan will offer public health insurance on a sliding price scale that is based on income. It is the worst way to get health care. 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. He added that the program will be up and running this year and will be built out over the next few years.

Vanessa Coleman

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