With 2.6 million uninsured residents, a popular Democratic governor and tens of millions of federal dollars at stake, New York would seem to be one of the least likely states to join a growing revolt in the nation’s capitals against facilitating a federal overhaul of health care.
But several Republican lawmakers in New York, saying they do not want to have anything to do with what they call “Obamacare,” have thus far succeeded in blocking the state from seeking large amounts of federal assistance to put into place a mandatory health insurance exchange — a state-run marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy insurance.
State Senator Gregory R. Ball of Putnam County described his resistance as his duty as a Republican.
“I would fight very vociferously to make sure that we’re not seen as implementing and expediting Obamacare,” Mr. Ball said. And then, noting hopefully that President Obamacould lose his re-election bid to a Republican who opposes the health care overhaul, he added, “We could be looking at a change of administrations.”
Although Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed creating the insurance exchange, and the State Assembly, with a Democratic majority, approved it, the Republican-controlled Senate refused to take it up before the Legislature adjourned its regular session at the end of June. Now, Republican lawmakers are balking at returning to Albany to consider the matter, as deadlines pass, and Mr. Cuomo, despite an unexpectedly harmonious relationship with Senate Republicans, appears to be unwilling to force the issue at this time. (READ MORE)