Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

“Albany Times Union: State Democrats Keep Up Rhetoric Against Health Care Bill”

July 18, 2017

As published by The Albany Times Union, on July 17, 2017.

The state’s top prosecutor remains intent on suing the federal government if the current version of Republican-drafted federal health care legislation becomes the law of the land.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others rallied in Manhattan on Monday with health care union members to once again bash GOP plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Schneiderman repeated his pledge to sue the federal government if the legislation — which passed the House in early May — is passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Schneiderman has more than once threatened to sue on behalf of New Yorkers if two provisions he believes are unconstitutional become law. Last month, he targeted Senate bill language that would prohibit federal funding for Planned Parenthood affiliates for one year and require New York State to absorb the county share of Medicaid costs beginning in 2020.

A second draft of the Senate bill was unveiled last week. Both pieces remain.

On the Medicaid cost-shifting piece specifically, which its backers say would help counties alleviate property tax burdens, Schneiderman has previously challenged the “legitimate federal interest” in requiring only one state to change the way it handles a federal program.

“Fellow New Yorkers, listen to your lawyer — actually, in this case, listen to your doctors as well,” said Schneiderman, who noted he has developed a reputation as someone who sues Trump and the federal government. “Stay strong, hydrate, stay visible, stay loud and keep your eye on the ball. This is wrong, this is stupid, this is putting ideology ahead of evidence. It will always fail. It’s up to us to see that it fails as soon as possible.”

Cuomo similarly threatened to sue in March over the Medicaid cost-shifting provision, which was primarily pushed by Reps. John Faso of Kinderhook and Chris Collins of Buffalo.

The Monday rally was Cuomo’s second health care event in as many months. In early June, he announced plans to target House Republicans from New York in 2018, including Faso and Rep. Elise Stefanik of Essex County.

The Daily News reported Monday that Democrats have raised $1 million for the Cuomo effort, with massive donations coming in from prominent unions.

“We’re going to go all across the state, and we’re going to inform everyone in New York before next November — because you know what happens next November,” he said. “We’re going to inform everybody in New York exactly what their elected officials did. And we’re going to elect New Yorkers who put New Yorkers first.”