Johnson Statement on Governor Veto of Bill to Ensure Care for Individuals Battling with Mental Illness & Substance Abuse

(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Bergen) issued the following statement on Monday concerning Gov. Christie’s veto of bill (A-1665), which would have required health insurers to provide the same level of coverage for a broad array of mental illnesses and substance abuse addictions as they do for treating other diseases:


“It’s disappointing that the governor did not think that these individuals deserved to have their treatments covered by health insurers, just like any other patient in need of a medical procedure.

“Individuals suffering from mental illness or struggling with substance abuse addiction are often not only a danger to themselves, but others. This bill would have helped ensure that these individuals get the care they need by having health insurers cover treatments for these diseases.

“It’s sad how easy it is for some to disregard people who are battling addiction or mental illness, as if they did not need or deserve help. Because of this many end up on the streets where they are often seen as a public nuisance, and after prolonged neglect, can become a threat to public safety. Ignoring them, as the governor has just done with his veto, is not the answer; it only worsens the problem.”