Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking steps to prevent healthcare changes in New York.

The governor is directing the State Department of Financial Services to declare new regulations mandating health insurance providers do not discriminate against New Yorkers with pre-existing conditions or based on age or gender.

The regulations would safeguard the ten "essential health benefits" guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act.  They would also protect coverage for contraception and abortion.

Cuomo says the first in the nation measures would ensure that essential health services are protected and covered for all New Yorkers.

"We will not stand idly by as ultra-conservatives in Washington try to roll back the progress we have made to expand access quality, affordable health care, putting our most vulnerable New Yorkers at risk," Cuomo said. "As long as I am Governor, New Yorkers will not be subject to price discrimination based on age, gender, or pre-existing conditions, and essential health benefits will continue to be the rule, not the exception. These aggressive actions will make certain that no matter what happens in Congress, the people of New York will not have to worry about losing access to the quality medical care they need and deserve."