Medicaid hearing canceled; commissioners won’t attend

TRENTON – The Assembly Budget Committee that was scheduled to examine Medicaid issues Thursday has been canceled. Sign Up For

TRENTON – The Assembly Budget Committee that was scheduled to examine Medicaid issues Thursday has been canceled.

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The commissioners of Human Services, Jennifer Velez, and of Health and Senior Services, Mary O’Dowd, had been asked to attend but will not.

Chairman Vincent Prieto, (D-32), Secaucus, expressed disappointment this afternoon that the Christie administration declined an invitation to address issues related to the Medicaid program revisions.

“This is an unfortunate start to my hope to work cooperatively with the Christie administration,” Prieto said in a release. 

“All we were seeking was what the taxpayers expect – an update on where this plan stands and when, if ever, the state will start saving money without jeopardizing health care for working-class families.

“The administration claims it’s premature to discuss this issue, but we’re more than halfway through the fiscal year. We still don’t know whether these savings are going to materialize nor do we know the administration’s backup plan.”

According to Prieto, the administration has booked $300 million in savings from the revised program.

The commissioners had sent a joint letter dated Tuesday to Prieto stating that they look forward to testifying before the committee during the budget process later this year.

In the letter, the commissioners stated that “While we appreciate your interest to learn more about the status of the waiver, active discussions with CMS remain fluid and ongoing, and in our judgment, it would be premature to testify publically at this time.”

In the letter, they state that the administration had submitted its application for the Medicaid waiver on Sept. 9.

“We engaged immediately in broad-based stakeholder discussions to garner meaningful comment and input and, since that time, have worked diligently with CMS on the very detailed specifics of the waiver application.

“To date, this process has been productive but is not yet complete.’’

Previous coverage:

National center criticizes cuts to NJ FamilyCare, Medicaid

Medicaid waiver family planning exclusion angers Weinberg, Sweeney

 

Medicaid hearing canceled; commissioners won’t attend