(CNSNews.com) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday plans to provide guaranteed health care for all New Yorkers, including illegal immigrants, regardless of ability to pay or immigration status, with a price tag of $100 million.
“This is why we need to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers. It’s as simple as that, because no one should have to live in fear. No one should go without the health care they need. Health care is a human right. In this city, we’re going to make that a reality. In this city, we’re taking that ideal and putting it into practice. From this moment on in New York City, everyone is guaranteed the right to health care,” he said.
“We are saying the word ‘guarantee’ because we can make it happen, because of the great professionals you see behind me here at … Lincoln Hospital … all of these professionals and other great New Yorkers like them are going to be on the front lines of this new effort,” de Blasio added.
According to the mayor’s website, it will be “the largest, most comprehensive plan in the nation to guarantee health care for every New Yorker.”
It will “serve the 600,000 New Yorkers without insurance by strengthening NYC’s public health insurance option, MetroPlus, and guaranteeing anyone ineligible for insurance – including undocumented New Yorkers – has direct access to NYC Health + Hospitals’ physicians, pharmacies and mental health and substance abuse services through a new program called NYC Care.”
De Blasio said “too many New Yorkers” live in fear of getting sick.
“They don’t know where to turn. They don’t know how they’re going to afford health care. Now 600,000 New Yorkers do not have any health care coverage at all. That’s as many people as live in the entire city of Milwaukee or the entire city of Baltimore – 600,000 people with nowhere to turn, except the emergency room, which is exactly the last place we want to see people go,” the mayor said.
“Today we take a huge step forward, because we’re telling people it’s guaranteed. That’s going to change people’s lives and it’s gonna change the way they act, because when you know something is guaranteed, you act differently,” he said.
“It’s meant to be there for you. It’s not something you have to fight for or struggle for. It’s not some maze you have to complete. It’s guaranteed. It will be accessible. It will be available,” de Blasio added.
In making his announcement de Blasio, also called for a single payer system for the rest of the country.
“Is this something that ideally should be handled in Washington, D.C., or in Albany? Yes, it should. Let me just make that clear at the outset. The solution. The ultimate solution is single payer health insurance for this whole country or Medicare for all. That’s the ideal. That’s what we need, and I strongly support a single payer bill that’s gonna be considered in Albany this spring, because if Washington won’t act, then our state government should act,” he said.