State lawmakers on Monday evening were poised to approve a $40 million bill meant to help New York respond to a potential coronavirus outbreak in the state.
The bill was first proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week, part of an effort to purchase equipment and other resources to repsond.
The measure is being voted on a day after New York officials announced on Sunday evening the state has first positive case of coronavirus: a 39-year-old woman who traveled to Iran and has self-isolated herself.
Cuomo at a news conference earlier in the day said it was likely there will be more positive cases in the state.
At the same time, Cuomo sought to assure New Yorkers.
"We think we have the best health care system on the planet right here in New York," he said. "So when you're saying what happened in other countries versus what happened here we don't even think it's going to be as bad in other countries."
Still, Cuomo also wants resources from the federal government. He's aired no concerns with how the Centers for Disease Control has responded and has spoken with Vice President Mike Pence, who is coordinating the effort on the federal level.
"This is a significant financial burden," Cuomo said. "We have no issue with the administration, the management and doing the job. But the financial consequences are highly relevant and at a minimum we would expect the federal government to help with that."
Democratic state lawmakers, meanwhile, were briefed for several hours on Monday afternoon by Health Commissioner Howard Zucker.
Some Democrats in the state Assembly had raised concerns with how the legislation was crafted and the authority granted to the governor. But ultimately the Assembly signaled it would have the votes to pass the bill, likely by late Monday evening.
The Cuomo administration also announced insurance regulators have told insurers to waive costs associated with testing for the virus, including emergency room, urgent care and office visits.
Medicaid recipients will not be expected to pay a co-pay for testing as well.