Medicaid waiver faces Assembly Budget hearing

TRENTON –The Assembly Budget Committee will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to slash the Medicaid health care program for the state’s poorest residents.

The committee, which will hold the meeting in Room 11 on the fourth floor of the Statehouse Annex, will hear from Human Services  Commissioner Jennifer Velez and acting Commissioner Mary O’Dowd of Health and Senior Services.

“It now makes sense why the administration, despite repeated questioning, refused to detail its plan to slash health care for New Jerseyans struggling daily to make ends meet,” Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald, (D-6), of Voorhees, said in a release.

 “After all, who would want to stand behind a plan as fiscally irresponsible and unrealistic for working families as this proposal? The administration has some explaining to do and we expect nothing less than detailed and forthright answers. Anything else will be unacceptable and insulting to the taxpayers of this state.”

Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, (D-Essex/Passaic), also voiced opposition to the Christie plan to extensively curtail the Medicaid insurance program.

“The outcome of such a cut would be easily predictable – many working class New Jerseyans would simply turn to emergency rooms for more expensive health care, driving up costs on hospitals that cannot afford it,” Oliver said in a statement. “The administration’s continued theme of only looking out for those most fortunate is long past being tiresome.”

The administration wants to cut back on eligibility to the program in order to save approximately $300 million. Medicaid waiver faces Assembly Budget hearing