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Cuomo says fight for health care is a class struggle

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in Brooklyn Thursday.

At an event Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo defined the conflict over changing the health care laws in Washington as a class struggle, saying it’s all about the rich versus the rest.

Cuomo did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but he said the nation’s health care is in crisis and the struggle is really about those with lots of money, and those with lesser means.

“Make no mistake. The rich are always going to have the best health care system in the world,” Cuomo said. “What they’re trying to decide is what’s the health care for the rest of us.”

Cuomo says Republicans who lead Congress don’t want to subsidize health care so that the middle class, working class and the poor can also have access to good quality care. The Congressional Budget Office says plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, will leave 22 million Americans without health insurance, and around 2 million in New York -- including seniors, veterans and the disabled.

The governor says while it seems like plans to reverse Obamacare are dead in Congress for now, he says no one should be complacent, and compared the issue to a “snake in the grass.”

“You think it’s dead but sometimes it’s just lying there,” said Cuomo. “And it jumps up and it bites you.”

Cuomo was at the opening of a health center in Brooklyn built by the hotel and motel trade workers union. It will provide health and dental services including eye care, mammograms, prescriptions and some surgeries for 90,000 union workers and their families. The governor and union leaders say the center is a model of how health care can be delivered in the U.S.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.