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(TRENTON) – Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) released the following statement Tuesday after the committee held a hearing on the Christie administration’s plan to slash health care for New Jersey’s poorest and most medically needy residents:

“The testimony we heard today made clear that this is an unrealistic and fiscally irresponsible plan that would cost taxpayers more money and do nothing to improve health care in this state.
“If New Jersey’s least fortunate residents are no longer eligible for Medicaid, these costs will simply end up somewhere else in the system in more costly ways.
“Residents without health insurance will use more expensive emergency rooms. The charity system and fragile hospitals could be overwhelmed. Health clinics are already bearing too high a load because of the governor’s other health care cuts.
“Finally, residents now denied Medicaid coverage are, sadly, likely to ignore health problems that if caught early would be treatable for a relative small amount of money. If the illness progresses, it will be much more costly to treat than had it been caught early.
“Any alleged savings will disappear quickly and then some.
“New Jersey taxpayers cannot afford more Christie policies that push the heaviest burden onto the working class and poor. The governor needs to reconsider his approach and work cooperatively with us to devise a new plan that actually makes sense and saves money.”