NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday a plan to provide all New Yorkers with health care coverage.
The plan would cover everyone regardless of ability pay or immigration status. There are approximately 600,000 New Yorkers without health care coverage.
On Twitter, the Mayor wrote there would be an expansion to the Metro Plus public option and a new program called NYC Care which will leverage the services of NYC Health +Hospitals system.
"The goal is to take everything up to a fully comprehensive system; where the emergency room becomes the last resort," said de Blasio.
During an address from Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, de Blasio said his plan to guarantee health care should be a model for the rest of the country.
"New York City has the opportunity to do something historic here," said de Blasio.
Providers ranging from primary doctors to pediatricians and obstetricians will be from the NYC Health + Hospitals system.
"Everyone will be assigned a primary doctor," said de Blasio. "Our goal is to make (making) that first visit as fast as possible."
The program including mental health care coverage will cost approximately $100 million per year and will begin rolling out over the next several months and taking up to two years to be fully implemented.
Health care isn’t just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice. 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.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 8, 2019