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NY, Minnesota sue Trump administration over health care cut

The Essential Plan provided health care to low-income families for no more than $20 per month.

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman at a news conference at his Manhattan office on Nov. 28, 2017. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

ALBANY — The attorneys general of New York and Minnesota on Friday announced that they are suing the Trump administration for what the state officials say is “a cruel and reckless” cut of $1 billion for a health care plan for the poor.

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said the federal cut would leave 700,000 low-income New Yorkers without health coverage under the program called the Essential Plan. Another 100,000 Minnesotans would lose coverage under the action by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the state officials said. The Essential Plan was created by the Affordable Care Act under President Barack Obama.

“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.

There was no immediate comment from the Department of Health and Human Services. The suit seeks to have the $1 billion restored to the health care plan.

President Donald Trump has sought to end and alter the health care plan known as Obamacare because he said it has been ineffective, inefficient and too expensive for Americans. The federal government has sought to allow more flexibility for customers and limit federal subsidies of health care for lower-income Americans.

Schneiderman said the federal action cuts 25 percent of the funding of the health care program, worth about $1 billion.

The states have submitted proposals to the federal government to restore the funding, but said those requests were rejected, Schneiderman said.

The Essential Plan provided health care to low-income families for no more than $20 per month. A family of four could earn as much as $49,200 and qualify for the coverage. The plan covers visits to physicians including specialists, tests, prescriptions and inpatient and outpatient care at hospitals.

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