New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday a $1 billion lawsuit against the Trump Administration in an attempt to protect hundreds of thousands of New Yorker’s health insurance.
The lawsuit is challenging the Trump administration’s “abrupt and unlawful cutoff,” according to Schneiderman’s office, of more than $1 billion in federal funding for New York’s Essential Plan, which provides health care to more than 700,000 low-income residents.
The Essential Plan is the state’s “Basic Health Program,” according to Schneiderman, meaning a state-run health insurance program created under the Affordable Care Act, primarily funded by the federal government.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services withheld “legally-required funding” owed to New York, as well as Minnesota, in order for the states to operate their Basic Health Programs, the lawsuit argues.
Schneiderman and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed the lawsuit together in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
“The Essential Plan is a lifeline for over 700,000 low-income New Yorkers. The abrupt decision to cut these vital funds is a cruel and reckless assault on New York’s families – and we will not allow it,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “I won’t stand by as the federal government continues to renege on its most basic obligations in a transparent attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. We’re suing to defend these vital funds and the quality, affordable health care they ensure for New Yorkers.”
Under the Essential Plan, some low-income New Yorkers do not pay any premiums. Others pay, at most, $20 per month, officials say.
“The Trump administration’s action jeopardizes quality care for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers and goes against everything we stand for in New York,” Cuomo said in a statement. “In New York, we believe health care is a right, not a luxury, and we will fight to protect that right for all New Yorkers. We are joining together to stop this injustice and preserve New York’s Essential Plan for everyone that needs it.”