Measure Would Establish Critical Component of New Federal Health Care Law
(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. issued a multimedia package Thursday on his legislation to implement a critical component of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Conaway’s bill (A-3186) would implement the health insurance exchange component of the Affordable Care Act, creating access to affordable, quality health insurance for both consumers and small businesses, as well as helping New Jersey reap millions of dollars in federal subsidies and tax credits.
The multimedia package consists of a video of Dr. Conaway discussing the specific benefits of creating health insurance exchanges in New Jersey and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of comments from Assemblyman Conaway is appended below:
Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D. (D-Burlington), Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee Chair:
“The bill we are passing today will establish a health insurance exchange in New Jersey.
“Under federal law, states have the option to establish their exchanges. This bill represents the Legislature’s view that New Jersey should have its own exchange so that we’re able to provide insurance for our citizens who don’t currently have it.
“In New Jersey, 1.3 million of our citizens are uninsured. This bill will address the insurance needs of hundreds of thousands of those residents of the State of New Jersey. Through the exchange, those who currently do not have insurance will be able to pay a portion for that insurance; they will receive federal subsidy for the other portion of that insurance; and they will be able to purchase insurance in the private market for themselves and their families.
“In my practice, I see this every day. I have numbers of patients who come to the hospital clinic who do not have insurance; who’ve delayed care; who come with their conditions worse; they come with chronic problems untreated. Many of them end up in the hospital for days, at high cost — uncompensated care for the hospital, by the way — and I know, based on my own experience, that these same people that I see in the clinic — if they have insurance — when I write a prescription for them to get medication, they’ll be able to get it.
“If you care about savings; if you care about efficiency in your health care system; you care about having exchange here in the State of New Jersey. This bill will do that.”