Though the passage of the Republican Party’s Senate version of the American Health Care Act is shaky at best, there are plenty of Democratic officials throughout the Senate and Congress who will do their best to fight it every step of the way.
That also includes New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Reuters reported:
‘New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman intends to sue the federal government if Republican lawmakers pass proposed legislation to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system, his office said on Monday.’
His office commented they had found several portions of the bill which were constitutionally questionable.
At question are two proposals that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year and also move the responsibility of some Medicaid costs from counties within New York to the state budget. The Times Union reported:
‘The cost of such a shift would be $2.3 billion if and when it takes effect in 2020, assuming of course the legislation passes both houses of Congress in its current form.’
In a press release on Schneiderman’s website, he explained the reasoning for the newest lawsuit.
‘Protecting healthcare and healthcare jobs is a fight we cannot afford to lose and it is a fight that we will win. Because the Republicans’ healthcare plan doesn’t just threaten to make health insurance unaffordable. Their plan threatens to gut funding for hospitals and for the people who make sure New York has some of the best healthcare in the world. My fellow New Yorkers: this is one of the most important fights we’ve faced in a long time.’
He further illuminated the fact that, if the AHCA was signed into law today, over two million individuals in New York would be left without health care.
Additionally, he noted that Medicaid recipients would suffer the most and noted some quick statistics.
‘Two-thirds of New York’s nursing home residents rely on Medicaid. Half of New Yorkers with disabilities. 93,000 veterans.’
In the press release, he assured New Yorkers that he would fight Trump’s health care law for them.
‘Let me be clear: If this inhumane bill ever becomes law, I will go to court to challenge it – I will sue the Trump Administration and their congressional allies – to protect New Yorkers. Not only is this bill unconscionable. Not only is this bill unjust. This bill is also unconstitutional.’
This is not the first time that a state attorney has stepped up to the plate and fought to stop Trump in his tracks. Both Schneiderman and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra formed a group of 15 state attorneys general to fight for the protection of Obamacare subsidies. At that time, Becerra remarked:
‘The Trump Administration is playing political football with millions of Americans’ health care… I, joined by 15 of my fellow attorneys general, knew it was time to intervene in this case on behalf of those Americans. No parents should worry, because of politics, about whether they can afford to take their child to a doctor or hospital.’
In another example of Democratic state attorneys general refusing to back down, the D.C. attorney general and Maryland attorney general both sued Trump over the fact he refused to give up his ownership of Trump businesses. Maryland’s Attorney General Brian Frosh remarked:
‘Constituents must know that a president who orders our sons and daughters into harm’s way is not acting out of concern for his own business. They must know that we will not enter into a treaty with another nation because our president owns a golf course there.’
However, Hawaii’s Attorney General Doug Chin is probably the most successful example of a state attorney general stopping Trump. Hawaii was the first state to sue the U.S. government, questioning the constitutionality of Trump’s revised Muslim travel ban.
Featured image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.