It will be fully available across all five boroughs in 2021 at an estimated cost of $100 million a year. "In this city, we're gonna make that a reality", de Blasio said during a news conference.
'We have now, in New York City, a public health insurance option we're ready to make much bigger that can reach the hundreds of thousands that are right now not in any kind of health insurance'.
Part of the idea NYC Care, aides to the mayor said, was to ease that burden while providing better health care to New Yorkers. 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.
The plan, which isn't precisely a plan - details are scant on how the system will actually work - will cover everything from mental health services, to well visits, to maternity care for New Yorkers who choose to go without insurance, or who can't afford even the basic, public insurance option that New York City already offers, and aren't signed up for "Obamacare" options on the state exchange. Right now, he explained, numerous city's uninsured put off medical attention when they need it because they assume they can't afford it.
'We want people to get health care when they need health care, ' he added.
The mayor made the historic surprise announcement Tuesday during the MSNBC morning program Morning Joe.
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.
"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", De Blasio concluded. "In the last couple of years there's been tremendous focus, tremendous energy, pinpoint precision in Washington among Republicans trying to reduce the amount of health care people get". Mayor de Blasio is an expert at unveiling cloud-castles and proclaiming himself a master builder.
The city plans to begin improving MetroPlus now, and to expand access for ineligible New Yorkers starting this summer.
'Emergency rooms are the default health care provider for so many people in this country. Trying to take away the right to health care. The mayor does not plan on raises taxes to pay for the plan.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the New York Immigration Coalition applauded de Blasio's effort to provide healthcare to all New York City residents and argued that comprehensive coverage "must be extended to everyone in the state".