Declaring that healthcare is “a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it,” New York City’s Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday unveiled a plan that he said will guarantee comprehensive medical coverage to all 8.6 million city residents, including undocumented immigrants.
Officially named “NYC Care,” de Blasio first announced the plan and discussed some of its basic details Tuesday morning during an interview on MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe”:
Proponents of a nationwide Medicare for All system were quick to applaud de Blasio’s plan as a major victory for health justice and a significant step toward the establishment of a statewide single-payer system in New York.
“Under NYC Care, 600,000 New Yorkers, including our undocumented brothers and sisters, will have access to healthcare,” declared Winnie Wong, founder of the advocacy group People for Bernie. “This is huge step in the right direction and it clears a path toward statewide single-payer.”
“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!”
—New York Immigration Coalition
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.
While NYC Care will not provide free coverage to everyone in the city, the program will be priced on a sliding scale according to individuals’ ability to pay.
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