ASC Lauds NYC Mayor’s Guarantee of Comprehensive Health Care for All

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New NYC Care Plan a Major Step Forward in Health Equity & Immigrant Rights

African Services Committee (ASC) applauds Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement to guarantee comprehensive health care to all New York City residents regardless of ability to pay or immigration status.  Beginning in the Bronx in June, with rollout to the other boroughs completed by 2021, the  NYC Care plan is a landmark initiative, contributing to universal health care coverage in New York City and is a welcome rebuttal to the Federal administration’s unrelenting assault on immigrant communities. 

“Mayor de Blasio’s announcement that the new plan will include health coverage for undocumented City residents is a bold, essential step toward health equity and immigrant rights in New York City,” says ASC’s Director of Advocacy, Amanda Lugg.

The new NYC Care plan will also the boost momentum for other community-driven, Statewide public health initiatives — such as Ending the Epidemic, the Governor’s 3-point plan to achieve the first ever decrease in HIV prevalence in New York State by 2020. NYC Care also complements Coverage for All, a campaign of Health Care for All New York (HCFANY),  to create a state-funded Essential Plan for all New Yorkers at up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level who are currently excluded due to immigration status.

Direct- service, community based organizations such as  ASC help thousands of immigrants each year contend with  many social determinants of health,  which serve as barriers to accessing  health care in the United States, including low income, unsafe neighborhoods, immigration status, lack of English language fluency, lack of health insurance, and absence of culturally-competent caregiving, in addition to unfamiliarity with what can be a challenging health care system for newcomers. 

Fully-funded partnerships between the H+H Hospital system and community-based organizations will be all the more critical in facilitating the uptake of NYC Care among undocumented communities.  “Health navigators bridge the gap between providers and patients, providing translation, facilitating diagnosis, treatment adherence and follow-up care to maximize health outcomes,” says African Services Committee Testing Center Coordinator Dr. Halimatou Konte. 

“Universal health coverage is a human right, as the Mayor stated in his address,” says Lugg.  “ASC will be traveling with fellow advocates to Albany on January 15th to push for ‘Coverage for All’ New Yorkers and a State-wide universal health care initiative.”  

About the image: ASC’s Testing Center team provided free and confidential testing for hepatitis B and C, blood glucose, blood pressure, as well as info on ASC’s navigation to care and maternal infant health programs at a mobile health screening event at a Harlem Taxi garage. 

Media Contact: Eirik Omlie 

Communications Director

African Services Committee

212.222.3382 x 2130

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