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". "In this city, we're going to make that a reality", de Blasio said.
During his presser on Tuesday, de Blasio said he will continue to support statewide and national efforts to move toward single-payer, and characterized NYC Care as an immediate solution for hundreds of thousands of uninsured New York City residents. "Don't feel you can't afford it. Get the health care that you need when you need it".
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.
Every person participating in the plan, called "NYC Care", will be assigned a primary care doctor.
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"This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just E.R.s) for people who can't afford it, or can't get comprehensive Medicaid - including 300,000 undocumented New Yorkers", the mayor's spokesman, Eric Phillips, wrote on Twitter. The plan will cover everyone regardless of ability pay or immigration status, according to a local news report. Right now, he explained, numerous city's uninsured put off medical attention when they need it because they assume they can't afford it. And we have now in New York City something that we can build on. "They're still a part of our community, they need health care, their families need health care".
There are now about 600,000 New Yorkers who were not able to be covered under Obamacare, many of them younger people who do not think they need insurance, he added.
De Blasio said, as it is, people are using the emergency room as "default health care provider for so many people in this country. That's the ideal, that what we need", de Blasio said. The mayor is trying to do what some of his predecessors attempted-shift patients away from the emergency room and into primary care, or clinics. Trying to take away the right to health care. The panel concluded, in the words of a Newsday editorial, that "for patients, emphasis would be on primary care instead of hurried emergency-room sessions and days of hospitalization". The mayor does not plan on raises taxes to pay for the plan.
When the reporter further pressed the mayor for an answer, de Blasio said, "We're first getting people health care".