De Blasio has a plan

Bill de Blasio at a press conference announcing NYC Care

Bill de Blasio at a press conference announcing NYC Care

In a surprise announcement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday the city will launch a program that offers health services to people who've been shut out of insurance options or affordable care, including illegal immigrants. Health experts say that access to regular medical visits can cut down on costly hospital stays.

New York City is already a declared sanctuary city.

"No one should have to live in fear; no one should have to go without the healthcare they need", de Blasio said at a press conference at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.

"Health care is a human right". In this city we are going to make that a reality in this city we are taking that ideal and putting it into practice.

As to why undocumented residents were included in the program, "I'm here to tell you everyone needs coverage, everyone needs a place to turn", said de Blasio.

New York City will soon guarantee health care for all New Yorkers.

"It's going to be really important for people who have felt excluded from the system or didn't know how to get services", she said, "or imagined that "H and H" only has emergency-department services".

New Yorkers will be able to access the program through the city's website or by calling 311, and tax increases will not be necessary to fund it, the mayor said.

"People from all over the country are going to flood into NY to get their free health care", Thiessen said, adding that he had advice for taxpayers in the country's largest city who will foot the bill.

De Blasio said the NYC Care plan will take about two years to develop and implement. The city has spent lots of money trying to convince poor, often dysfunctional people to develop regular medical habits by signing up for Medicaid and getting a primary-care doctor.

The news, however, came with a caveat; although overall deaths declined, the number of pedestrians killed in traffic increased previous year, city officials noted last week.

President and CEO of the NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz said because it was a "comprehensive clinic" if someone needed hospital services, the city would help them get to another Health + Hospital facility.

Another aspect of the plan, NYC Care, will guarantee insurance to New Yorkers regardless if they are ineligible for insurance or are undocumented.

Bill de Blasio at a press conference announcing NYC Care. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a likely presidential candidate, proposed a publicly run health insurance option for state residents who are not covered by private employers and buying insurance off the marketplace created under former President Barack Obama's health care law.

Dr. Mitchell Katz, the CEO of the public hospital system, said the city will hire additional primary-care doctors to meet an expected growth in demand.