De Blasio on NYC Single Payer Health Care Attracting Sick People: ‘I Don’t See that Happening’

‘We should have single-payer in this country’

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TAPPER: Welcome back to STATE OF THE UNION. I'm Jake Tapper. 

As Democrats begin announcing their 2020 presidential bids, the mayor of New York City says they should look to his policies as a model. 

Joining me now to explain why is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

Mr. Mayor, thanks so much for joining us. 

You unveiled a health care plan guaranteeing health care coverage, you say, to the 600,000 New Yorkers without insurance coverage, which includes 300,000 undocumented immigrants. 

I want you to take a listen to something that your fellow Mayor Andrew Gillum, formerly mayor of Tallahassee, said about his universal health care proposal during his campaign for Florida governor. Take a listen. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW GILLUM (D), FORMER FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: We could not do it by ourselves solely here in the state of Florida because it would collapse the system. We would only attract the sickest of patients, and it wouldn't work. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: So, he was saying that, in Florida, they could do it only if other states joined him, because, otherwise, all sick people would just come to Florida. 

What's to stop sick people from coming, flocking to New York and overburdening the system?

BILL DE BLASIO (D), MAYOR OF NEW YORK: I don't see that happening, Jake. 

Look, we should have single-payer in this country. We should have Medicare for all. There's no question. 

But the bottom line is, right now, we have 600,000 people in my city who have no coverage at all. And that's unacceptable. That's making us a city that is less healthy, less secure than we need to be. 

Our plan is guaranteed health care for all. And it basically says, this should be a priority to ensure that we have a decent kind of society. If you don't do that, what happens? People are sick at work. Their families get sick. They go to the emergency room, which is the single most costly way to provide health care. 

We know that, by guaranteeing health care, we're going to create the kind of society that actually works. And, by the way, all over America -- we're here obviously to talk about what's happening in this national debate. 

TAPPER: Mm-hmm. 

DE BLASIO: This is the kind of thing Democrats should stand for. 

If we say to the American, people our job is to get you health care, no matter what, no matter how much money you make, no matter what your situation, that's the kind of thing that actually is going to resonate with the American people, because so many Americans, tens of millions, are struggling right now to make ends meet. 

Health care is one of their biggest expenses. They need this kind of guarantee in their lives. 

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