Pintor Marin & Muoio Respond to Christie’s Veto of Bill to Boost Aid to Newark & Trenton Hospitals that Serve some of the Most Uninsured

(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats Eliana Pintor Marin and Elizabeth Maher Muoio on Thursday called Gov. Christie’s veto of a bill they sponsored to provide additional aid to hospitals in Newark and Trenton that provide high levels of uncompensated care “misguided” and “disappointing.”
The bill (A-4003) would have made a supplemental appropriation to the FY 2017 budget in the amount of $9,563,415 for grants-in-aid to Newark Beth Israel Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center in Trenton to improve the delivery of healthcare in some of New Jersey’s poorest communities.
“These two hospitals provide some of the highest levels of uncompensated care in the state, yet their charity care reimbursement is substantially underfunded in comparison to the hospital in their town that provides the very highest level of uncompensated care,” said Pintor Marin (D-Essex). “This appropriation was designed to take that into account so that these hospitals can continue functioning in a viable way in order to provide critical care to some of our poorest communities. The Governor’s veto was misguided and unfortunate and I hope that moving forward we can find another way to resolve this issue.”
“The Governor’s veto is a real disappointment that ignores the realities of delivering healthcare in an urban setting where many families lack health insurance coverage,” said Muoio (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “This aid was carefully targeted to help the hospitals in two of our largest urban cities that deliver an extraordinary amount of uncompensated care, but are shortchanged by the current funding formula. Looking ahead, I hope to work with my colleagues to explore additional options to address this persistent problem.”
The sponsors noted that under state statute, every acute care hospital in the state is required to provide care to anyone who walks through their doors regardless of their ability to pay. To offset the costs to hospitals for uncompensated care hospitals receive subsidies. The formula for the subsidies provides for the hospitals that provide the most uncompensated care.
To that end, the hospital with the highest documented hospital-specific charity care in each of the 10 municipalities with the lowest median annual household income also receives 96 percent. Their bill would have made a supplemental appropriation to additional hospitals that provide a high level of uncompensated care.