"In this city, we're going to make that a reality".
De Blasio's spokesperson Eric Phillips tweeted there are now 600,000 New Yorkers who are uninsured.
At first glance, the program seems similar to NYC Health and Hospitals' system of treating the uninsured.
"We recognized that obviously health care is not just in theory a right", De Blasio told media ahead of his announcement.
The liberal mayor said the plan will serve the 600,000 New Yorkers who don't have insurance by strengthening NYC's public health insurance option, MetroPlus. Primary and specialty care will be part of the city's health care offer, including pediatrics, OB-GYN, mental health and geriatric medical services.
NYC Care will launch this summer and will roll out first in the Bronx. It will be fully available to all New Yorkers across the five boroughs in 2021.
By making people aware that they won't have to pay to see a doctor, or to pick up a prescription, the mayor expects to avert a huge cost.
The de Blasio administration said Tuesday that all services will be "affordable on a sliding scale".
The city's hospital system has been under severe financial strain and running deficits for years.
While contrasting NYC Care with the Republican effort to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, the mayor said the city's new program is specific to the needs of New York City and was likely not suitable to be applied at a state or national level. "But our people need healthcare right now. While the federal government is more concerned with an asinine wall than people dying because of a lack of healthcare, the city should lead the way in fulfilling the core principle that healthcare is a human right". "You won't end up in a hospital bed if you actually get the care you need when the disease starts". "It's going to revolutionize the approach because you know what people are doing now?"
Thiessen said the same claim was made after ObamaCare was passed, however, emergency room visits did not decline as predicted but instead increased. "It is the most expensive way to get health care".
Approximately 600,000 New Yorkers will qualify for this direct coverage, including 300,000 undocumented residents.
City Hall said the Affordable Care Act gave eight million New Yorkers health insurance, but 600,000 New Yorkers still remain without insurance because they either, do not, or can not enroll.
De Blasio makes it sound as though illegal immigrants have not been able to get health care until now. "We want it to be seamless; if you have questions, here's where to call". They need it right now.
The two-prong plan provides an option for both people who either can't afford insurance or who can but choose not to.
Katz noted that NYC Care is a more encompassing program than the one developed in San Francisco, where he used to work. If health care is now free in New York City then why would the other 7.5 million residents carry on paying tens of thousands a year for their own health care insurance? But details were scant on how the program will be funded.