Senators On Governor Christie’s Expressed Support For Medicaid Expansion That Would Save New Jersey $2.45 Billion
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, February 28, 2013, 05:13 AM EST
Menendez, Lautenberg, Pallone fought to have provision included in landmark health care reform legislation
U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Congressmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) today released the following statement in reaction to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s expressed support for expanding Medicaid during his annual budget address today.
“I am pleased that Governor Christie signaled that he is going to expand the state's Medicaid program. Expanding Medicaid will not only save the state $2.5 billion in health care spending over the next nine year, but will provide vital health insurance to 270,000 low-income New Jerseyans. I applaud the Governor's decision today and stand ready to work with him to ensure that all eligible New Jersey families can gain access to the expanded Medicaid program starting next year.”
"Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid is one of the law's most important pieces and it's good news for New Jersey that Governor Christie is taking advantage of this opportunity to help more people in the state lead healthy lives. New Jersey has a long history of helping low-income families access health care, and this decision will ensure Medicaid is available to even more families in our state," Lautenberg said.
“Expanding Medicaid in New Jersey just makes sense,” said Pallone. “The expansion of Medicaid in the Affordable Care Act will save New Jersey billions of dollars that can be spend for other pressing needs in our state. I fought hard to make sure this critical expansion of Medicaid was included in the Affordable Care Act and I am pleased to see that New Jersey will see yet another benefit from this landmark legislation come to fruition. Medicaid expansion will not only improve New Jerseyans access to affordable health care, it will improve our economic health as well. With all of New Jersey’s pressing needs right now, it is assuring that this assistance will help us to devote more resources toward building our economy and creating jobs.”
Senator Menendez, Senator Lautenberg and Congressman Pallone fought to have this Medicaid funding provision included in the Affordable Care Act would save New Jersey $2.45 billion during the next nine years, according to a recent nonpartisan study by New Jersey Policy Perspective.
Much of these savings are possible because the federal government will pay a much larger share of the cost for covering some adults who already are eligible for Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare. Specifically, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of covering low-income parents currently enrolled in FamilyCare from 2014-2017, and 90 percent thereafter through the year 2022.
Senator Menendez, Senator Lautenberg and Congressman Pallone worked with the Governor’s Office and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure these individuals were properly recognized as "newly eligible" for Medicaid starting in 2014, when the law will be in full effect. This funding is only available now that the Medicaid program in New Jersey is expanding as outlined in the Affordable Care Act.
Today’s announcement in Trenton follows a Feb. 7 letter from eight members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation urging the Governor to expand Medicaid.