Pallone Joins Chorus of Opposition to Trump Medicaid Rollback

Frank Pallone, the ranking Democrat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.

Frank Pallone, the ranking Democrat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. Max Pizarro for Observer

Following president-elect Trump’s pledge to repeal Medicaid expansion as part of his plan to alter the Affordable Care Act, Democratic members of congress have been making their own promises to oppose the change. New Jersey congressman Frank Pallone, one of the ACA’s main proponents before it passed in 2010, said Monday that he will work to ensure President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation remains as-is.

“More than half a million adults in New Jersey would lose access to affordable healthcare if the Medicaid expansion is withdrawn,” Pallone said. “In my district alone, almost 40,000 adults would lose Medicaid coverage. Two-thirds of those people are low wage workers, or are in a household in which an adult works.

“These people would have no other way to find affordable healthcare. As Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I will work tirelessly to prevent the damage that the President-elect has promised to deliver to Medicaid expansion and many other important provisions of the ACA.”

Liberal think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective also weighed in against the plan, predicting in a new report that Trump’s changes would cost over a half million low-income state residents their health insurance. According to that report the change would also cost the state roughly $3 billion a year in federal funds and deepen its ongoing financial and budget crises.

“Repealing the Medicaid expansion would cause major harm for many struggling working New Jerseyans who are just trying to get by in a state with one of the highest costs of living in the nation,” said Ray Castro, NJPP Senior Policy Analyst and author of the report. “Most of these residents are working but they’re paid so poorly that, without Medicaid, they simply would have nowhere to turn for their basic health care needs.”

Betsy Ryan, President and CEO at the New Jersey Hospital Association, said rolling back Obamacare would also take a financial toll on hospitals themselves.

“Repealing the Affordable Care Act without an appropriate replacement would take us back to a place where hundreds of thousands of uninsured New Jerseyans receive care primarily in emergency rooms and charity care services top $1 billion annually,” said Betsy Ryan, President and CEO at the New Jersey Hospital Association. “The financial burden on hospitals would be tremendous, and we would all feel the impact through increased healthcare costs and reduced access to care.”

Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.

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