(TRENTON) -Assemblyman Herb Conaway M.D. released the following statement Monday on Gov. Chris Christie joining other Republican governors to ask the federal government to cut deep into Medicaid:
“No one disputes these are tough economic times, but to cut deeper into what we all know to be a successful health care program for the poor lacks common sense.
“Toward the end of 2009, we all celebrated how the number of New Jerseyans without health insurance decreased by more than 11 percent, or by 147,000 individuals. That was the second largest reduction in the nation between 2007 and 2008, and it was something in which we could all be proud, though we knew we had more work to do.
“Having more people with health insurance is both smart social and fiscal policy.
“But all that progress is now at risk, and New Jersey taxpayers would pay the price for short-sighted moves like cutting Medicaid.
“It costs a lot more to treat people in an emergency room than it does to provide them with health coverage. Haven’t we had enough of gimmicky moves that end up costing us a lot more down the road?
“Political posturing has cost New Jersey taxpayers hundreds of millions in education and transportation funding. We cannot afford to extend that attitude toward health care.
“I call on Democrats in Congress and President Obama to do the right thing and reject this unfortunate request that would impair the progress New Jersey and the nation has made toward ensuring quality health care for everyone.”