Cuomo Amps Up War of Words With Congress Over Healthcare

ALBANY (AP/Hamodia) -

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed Tuesday that the proposed end of expanded Medicaid contributions from the federal government instituted by former President Barack Obama means Republicans in Congress have “declared war on New York.”

The proposal, one of several revisions to the Republican health care bill which would replace Obamacare, would help local governments lower property taxes. But Gov. Cuomo says the spending cut would jeopardize health care for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and force hospitals and nursing homes to close their doors, leading to thousands of lost jobs.

“The consequences will be really devastating. You will literally decimate the health care industry,” Mr. Cuomo said at a press conference in New York City. “You would lose more jobs in this proposal than have been built and brought to this state over the past five or six years.”

Many of those described by the governor as “losing” healthcare are those forced under the Obamacare mandate to carry insurance who will no longer be required to do so.

A vote on the health care bill is expected on Thursday. Cuomo said he will ask members of the state’s delegation to kill the Collins amendment.

Gov. Cuomo denounced the Republican majority in Washington in harsh terms.

“My greatest fear from last year’s election has actually come true,” he said, “which is you would have a rabid, conservative ideology in Washington that would tell New York to drop dead and that is exactly what is going on.”

The proposed cut would only apply to counties outside of New York City. It was added to the health care bill in a bid to secure support from Republican members of Congress from upstate.

“This is a huge win for our constituents,” Rep. Chris Collins, the upstate Republican who sponsored the proposal, said in a statement. “Year after year, Albany’s leadership relies on counties to foot the bill for New York state’s out-of-control Medicaid costs. Enough is enough. This amendment will stop Albany from forcing its unfunded mandate down the throats of taxpayers, and help counties lower the property tax burden on hardworking families.”