1.8 Million New Jerseyans Could Lose Healthcare After Obamacare Repeal
On May 7, 2017, the Star-Ledger reported that “Republican Obamacare repeal would hit NJ harder than any other state.”
The article reports that “A study by the Urban Institute found that federal Medicaid funding to New Jersey on a per person basis would drop by 20.6 percent, more than any other state.”
As we previously reported Medicaid Expansion Helped the Homeless, Now What?
New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) has reported that the Obamacare repeal could take away the healthcare of 1.8 million New Jerseyans – seniors, the disabled and children.
The bill passed by the House would take away the health insurance of 500,000 New Jersey residents who currently have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA.) And New Jersey would lose the increased funding it has received through the Medicaid expansion.
New Jersey most likely won’t seek potentially harmful waivers that would allow the sale of very basic health insurance and charging consumers with pre-existing conditions more for their health insurance. But the Republican bill would still hurt New Jersey.
Rep. Tom MacArthur (NJ-R-3) defended the House bill which he was instrumental in passing. His state waiver proposal led to the bill’s successful passage.
“What the Medicaid reforms really do is put pressure on the states to get costs under control,” MacArthur said. “That’s where the pressure is. It’s not going to be on patients. I don’t ultimately believe it will be on hospitals or doctors either. It’s going to be on states.”
But health care policy experts warn that the state will not be able to pick up the tab. “The point of the bill is to reduce federal funds,” said Ray Castro, NJPP’s director of health policy. “It’s going to be less than what we need.”
Rep. Frank Pallone (NJ-D-6) who sits on the House Energey and Commerce Committee said “”The state’s going to lose all of this money. How are they going to cover this medical population that’s left?”
Lower subsidies in the House bill mean an increase in insurance for those buying their own coverage through the ACA. “A 60-year-old living in Monmouth County and making $20,000 a year would see premiums rise to $9,660 from $960, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.”
“You cut out the funding,” Pallone said. “Republicans said repeal and replace. There can’t be an effective replacement because there’s no money.”