ASSEMBLY TO CONVENE SPECIAL TUESDAY HEARING ON CHRISTIE PLAN TO SLASH MEDICAID HEALTH CARE PROGRAM FOR POOREST NEW JERSEYANS

(TRENTON) – A special Assembly Budget Committee meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday to discuss Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to slash the Medicaid health care program for New Jersey’s poorest residents.
During testimony before the committee earlier this year, the administration repeatedly failed to detail its plan to slash Medicaid, but a recent report by The Star-Ledger described how it plans to propose cutting people making as little as $103 a week from Medicaid.
“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,” said Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden). “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.”
The committee has invited Commissioner of Human Services Jennifer Velez and acting Commissioner of Health and Senior Services Mary O’Dowd to discuss the plan.
Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) voiced opposition to the governor’s plan on Thursday.
“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. “The administration’s continued theme of only looking out for those most fortunate is long past being tiresome. It needs to dump this plan and come up with a more humane approach. I cannot envision this concept being approved by a Democratic Legislature dedicated to fighting for working class New Jerseyans.”
Tuesday’s hearing is set for 11:30 a.m. in Committee Room 11, 4th Floor, State House Annex, Trenton.
Audio of the hearing will be streamed live at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp.