ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York Democratic leaders Monday said they would sue the federal government if Congress approves an overhaul to the Affordable Care Act now making its way through Washington.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman contended the Obamacare replacement being considered by the Senate is unconstitutional, saying they would fight it in court if it wins final approval.
"This health plan put forth by this Congress will hurt the people of the state of New York, and I am going to do everything I can to fight this health plan," Cuomo, a potential 2020 presidential candidate, said at a rally in Manhattan.
The rally was the latest effort by Cuomo to put pressure on Republicans in Congress to dump the health-care proposal that state officials said would threaten coverage for at least 3 million New Yorkers and leave the state with a $2.3 billion bill to fund Medicaid.
The health-care bill in Congress would no longer require New York counties to pay a portion of Medicaid, saddling the state with the tab. Counties and Republicans support the measure; Cuomo has ripped it.
Schneiderman, who has regularly sparred with President Trump, also knocked the proposed changes, saying it would be the latest fight he would take against the Trump administration.
"Not only is this bill unconscionable, not only is this bill unjust, it is against the law," Schneiderman said. "It is unconstitutional, and we intend to stop it in its track and prove that this is still a nation of the rule of law."
In particular, Cuomo and Schneiderman said they would sue over "several constitutional defects," such as placing unconstitutional conditions on federal health-care money.
Schneiderman also knocked potential cuts to Planned Parenthood that could occur, saying it would "create an undue burden on women's fundamental constitutional right to reproductive health care, while placing unconstitutional conditions on federal dollars that fund vital services like breast cancer screenings, STD tests, and more."
New York runs one of the nation's largest health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, with more than 3 million enrollees, but funding for it would be in jeopardy if the federal bill is approved.
Cuomo vowed to tour the state to campaign against Republicans in Congress who support the health-care bill, and he enlisted the support of one of his Democratic foes, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, to make his case.
De Blasio, who is up for re-election this fall, made a rare appearance with Cuomo at the rally to rail against the health-care bill. They have fought over a series of policy issues since the mayor took office in 2014.
"This is not a health-care bill. This is a wealth-care bill," de Blasio said. "Let’s be clear: This bill is about giving tax cuts to the wealthy."
Republicans in New York have pushed back against Cuomo's criticism, saying New York should pick up the cost shift from the counties to the state.
Alleviating the counties' share of Medicaid would result in lower property taxes, they have urged.
“Rather than petulantly threatening to raise taxes on overburdened New Yorkers, Mr. Cuomo should instead cut waste in his own $160 billion budget," Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, Columbia County, said in a statement June 27.
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