In a recent health-care policy address in Albany, Andrew Cuomo proposed a temporary ban on political contributions from the health care industry. At a press conference yesterday, he expanded on that notion, saying the ban should be a matter of state law, and that he’s already observering it voluntarily.
A recent press release describes the proposal as “a temporary moratorium on political gifts or contributions from pharmaceutical companies, Pharmacy Benefit Managers, and medical device companies to New York statewide officials, legislators or executives in decision making positions.”
This sounds constitutionally questionable, since the courts have ruled that contributions are a form of speech. At the press conference, Cuomo defended it by comparing it to the G-37 rule, an SEC regulation that bars people who give political contributions from participating in the bond business (not vice versa), and which has withstood constitutional challenge.
I’d be interested in what a lawyer had to say about this; but would this kind of regulation really be within a single state’s purview?