Immigrant Advocates Applaud Mayor de Blasio’s Landmark Health Care Guarantee

January 8th, 2019

Advocates highlight need for New York State to follow suit

NEW YORK, NY – Earlier today on Morning Joe, Mayor Bill de Blasio affirmed that New York City will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every resident, regardless of someone’s ability to pay or immigration status. This landmark initiative follows in the footsteps of Mayor de Blasio’s other major immigrant services programs including ID NYC, ActionHealthNYC, and immigrant legal service funding.

In response, Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition issued the following statement:

"At a time when immigrants and healthcare are under attack by the federal government, Mayor de Blasio has stepped up to the plate big-time with NYC Care. The Mayor's landmark proposal to reach vast numbers of immigrant and other New Yorkers who currently lack health care has the potential to make New York City healthier, stronger and more vibrant.  On behalf of New York's three million diverse immigrants, we look forward to working with the Mayor to ensure a smooth rollout that links all New Yorkers to primary, specialty, and behavioral health services.”

In the wake of this news, and when California Governor Gavin Newsom has committed to a similar proposal to cover immigrant Californians, we look to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to take the baton by providing Essential Plan coverage to all New York State residents regardless of immigration status, so that all New Yorkers can get the healthcare coverage they need.”


ActionHealthNYC came out of the Mayor’s task force on immigrant health access in 2014, in which the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) was a member of the team. ActionHealthNYC was a primary care access and coordination program for uninsured New Yorkers that gave people access to a regular primary care provider at an H+H or community health center site where they could get consistent, prompt, and well-coordinated care. Because of the pilot program, enrollees were more likely to receive preventive services and diagnoses of chronic conditions. Patients could more easily access friendly, accessible, and less chaotic health care.

The NYIC was also on the Community Advisory Panel for the ActionHealthNYC, and has been advocating for citywide health care coverage for the last five years.

Currently, one of the New York Immigration Coalition’s 2019 state budget priorities is $532 million to create a state-funded Essential Plan for all New Yorkers up to 200% of the federal poverty level, regardless of immigration status– otherwise known as Coverage 4 All.

Yesterday, on his first day in office, newly-elected California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a sweeping health care plan that would prop up the Affordable Care Act, expand healthcare to include undocumented immigrants, and give the state new powers to negotiate drug prices. Notably, the plan would extend the age limit that undocumented children are eligible for Medi-Cal benefits from 19 to 26 years old.