Applauding NYC Care: Mayor de Blasio’s Plan to Guarantee Health Care as a Right for All New Yorkers

NYC Care will serve 600,000 currently uninsured New Yorkers and provide access to NYC Health + Hospitals’ physicians, pharmacies, and mental health and substance abuse services for all

January 8, 2019

NEW YORK, NY – Every child and every family—regardless of their immigration status, their ability to pay, or any other aspect of their circumstance or identity—deserves access to health care and services.

We commend Mayor Bill de Blasio for launching a two-pronged approach to increase access to effective, affordable health care for all New Yorkers—for every toddler, teenager, and their families. With this new initiative, New York City will continue to set the standard for equitable, affordable, and comprehensive health care services by addressing both mental and physical issues together. Through the new NYC Care and NYC’s public health insurance option, MetroPlus, New Yorkers will have access to NYC Health + Hospitals’ mental health and trauma counseling along with primary care doctors, pharmacies and prescriptions, and speciality services.

“NYC Care will be the biggest and most comprehensive health coverage program in the country,” said Dr. Mitch Katz, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the United States.

“Building on the great work of our doctors, nurses and staff, and working collaboratively with community partners, NYC Health +
Hospitals will help give all New Yorkers the quality care they deserve.”

Children of Bellevue will continue to support and fund the critical care and services provided by NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, the oldest public hospital still operating in the United States. Our stalwart commitment to providing more than medicine for all NYC children continues today, seven decades since our inception. ‘For all New Yorkers’ means for everyone —that includes undocumented New Yorkers who are an important part of our City and those in our communities who may otherwise have to choose between putting a roof over their child’s head or affording health care for their infant, teenager, or even themselves.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it,” said Mayor de Blasio.

“While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay.”

Since the Affordable Care Act was passed and signed into law in 2010, eight million New Yorkers now have health insurance who did not have the protections insurance can provide before. As a result, the uninsured rate has dropped to nearly half of what it was in 2013. Even with these important strides, today more than 600,000 New Yorkers cannot enroll in health insurance today or do not because they cannot afford it. We second the sentiments tweeted by Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, Chief Population Health Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. With this landmark initiative,

“New York City takes a historic step to expand access to high-quality healthcare to all New Yorkers. Universal healthcare is about opportunity and human dignity.”