TRENTON – Advocates of expanded Medicaid in New Jersey applauded the news today that the Christie administration OK’d the move.
“Despite opposition to the expansion from conservative factions of the national Republican party, Gov. Christie – much like he did in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy – has demonstrated the leadership and independence of a governor who is willing to place the interests of New Jerseyans above partisan politics by opting to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act,” N.J. Policy Perspective senior policy analyst Raymond Castro said in a release.
NJPP stated that the Health & Human Services Department informed health care representatives of the decision during briefing calls today, although the governor’s office had not issued an official statement yet.
Castro added that “His commendable decision is truly a win-win-win: it will improve the health of hundreds of thousands of struggling New Jerseyans, boost the state’s ailing economy as a result of the influx of billions of dollars in federal funds, and save the state billions of dollars over the next decade.”
On Monday, advocates called for expanded Medicaid, saying it would save the state about $2.5 billion over nine years, and expand access to approximately 300,000 uninsured people.
And the American Cancer Society cheered the news as well.
“Governor Christie’s decision to participate in Medicaid expansion is an example of bold leadership in the fight against cancer,” said Ethan Hasbrouck, the society’s N.J. government relations director.
“His proposal, if enacted, has the potential to eliminate barriers to proper diagnosis, treatment and care for those with cancer – a disease that claims the lives of more than 16,410 New Jerseyans annually.
“Increasing access to the Medicaid program would provide lifesaving coverage to more than 233,000 currently uninsured New Jersey residents. Thousands of families across the state will be able can see a doctor regularly, and receive screening tests such as pap smears and mammograms — enhancing the likelihood of detecting diseases, such as cancer, at an earlier, more curable stage.”