De Blasio announces health care coverage for all New Yorkers

During a news conference on Tuesday, de Blasio was asked for further details about the plan's "sliding scale".

"New York City will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every single resident regardless of someone's ability to pay or immigration status, an unprecedented plan that will protect the more than half-a-million New Yorkers now using the ER as a primary provider", writes NBC New York.

"This is the city paying for direct comprehensive care (not just ERs [emergency rooms]) for people who can't afford it, or can't get comprehensive Medicaid - including 300,000 undocumented New Yorkers", New York City Mayor's Office spokesman Eric Phillips tweeted Tuesday morning.

New York City on Tuesday launched a $100-million U.S. health insurance program to cover 600,000 uninsured city residents, including those unable to afford coverage and people living in the United States illegally, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

It will be fully available across all five boroughs in 2021 at an estimated cost of $100 million a year.

New York City does not plan to raise taxes on residents to fund the new initiative, as de Blasio says the program and its costs will be phased in over the span of several years, USA Today reported.

"We'll put the money in to make it work; it's going to save us money down the line", he added. "No one should go without the health care they need".

It will also guarantee health care access to those ineligible for insurance, including illegal immigrants who live in NY. "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", de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

'If folks get primary care or mental health services when they need them at the right point in life, that means you avoid everything from homelessness, incarceration, people losing their jobs'.

'The Republicans in Washington have been trying to tear down health care, we're doing the opposite, ' de Blasio said.

"Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it", De Blasio concluded.

The city will spend $100 million on the program, The New York Times reported. "For people who have the ability to pay, we'll be expecting that people pay what they can". I want to make sure that's really, really clear.