New York City mayor announces universal health care plan

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to the press in June 2018. On Jan. 8, 2019, de Blasio announced a plan to give every New Yorker comprehensive health care, regardless of ability to pay or citizenship status.

- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced a plan to give every New Yorker comprehensive health care, regardless of ability to pay or citizenship status.

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The plan, called NYC Care, would guarantee health care to the 600,000 currently uninsured New Yorkers, the mayor’s office said in a statement. NYC Care would include primary and specialty care, as well as maternity and pediatric care and mental health services, the statement said.

“Health care isn’t just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice,” de Blasio tweeted. “Today I’m announcing a plan to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers. Through our own public option and a new program called NYC Care, we’ll ensure the first stop for people isn’t the emergency room.”

The mayor also said the city would not raise taxes to pay for the program and will use the city’s public health care system, MetroPlus, to fund it.

NYC Care isn’t considered "health insurance," but rather a city payment for direct comprehensive care, Newsweek reported. The program will cost about $100 million per year for the city, ABC News reported.

NYC Care will become available in the summer.

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