JOHNSON: CHRISTIE’S MEDICAID PROPOSALS ARE UNDEFINED AT BEST, QUESTIONABLE AT WORST

As the Assembly Budget Committee today examined Governor Christie’s FY 2012 proposal for the state’s Medicaid plan, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) today questioned the vagueness of the plan and its impact on New Jersey’s low-income residents.

“There are many proposed elements that are undefined at best and questionable at worst, but what they all have in common is that they shift an added burden onto the backs of some of our poorest and most vulnerable residents.

“The Governor seems to be banking on a $300 million waiver from the federal government without any indication of when or even if this will come to fruition.

“There is also another troubling element that would save money by reducing the nursing home reimbursement rate, which would place an added strain on the elderly and their families.

“With this budget, the Governor has firmly established a pattern of decision-making that slashes health care funding for those who can least afford it. We saw it last year with his decision to eliminate family planning and women’s health funding for the working poor and his refusal to apply for matching Medicaid funds to increase access to this critical care.

“We cannot lose sight of these priorities as we continue to craft this year’s budget,” said Johnson.