De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a campaign against discrimination and harassment

The 600,000 New Yorkers who don't have any type of health coverage will be getting access to medical care under a program being announced Tuesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Beyond just providing citizens with a primary care physician, the mayor says specialty care, mental health services and other services will be available under the program.

De Blasio seems unfazed by the idea that this might be a very expensive boondoggle, of course.

"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", de Blasio said in a statement.

De Blasio explained he wants the plan to stop uninsured New Yorkers from using the ER as their primary care provider, and believes NYC Care will actually save the city money.

"We'll put the money in to make it work; it's going to save us money down the line", de Blasio said. New York City already has a public health care option.

The mayor has styled himself, in his 2017 re-election campaign and during his second term, as a progressive leader on issues like health care and as a bulwark against the policies of President Trump, particularly on immigration.

"We recognize that obviously health care isn't just, in theory, a right; it's in practice a right". But, aides said, it was something the city could do immediately and on its own.

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The potentially $100 million plan will roll out this year and be expanded through the next several years, de Blasio announced Tuesday. "But our people need healthcare right now".

The city will spend $100 million on the program, The New York Times reported.

"You know the national reality, the Republicans in Washington are trying to tear down healthcare, trying to tear down the universality of health care coverage, get rid of Obamacare". 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.

"No one should have to live in fear", the mayor said.

The mayor said all services would be affordable on a sliding scale for those who are able to pay a portion of the costs, while those who can not afford to pay will receive care for free. 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.

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

The city's hospital system has been under severe financial strain and running deficits for years.

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