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(TRENTON) – Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Herb Conaway, M.D. released the following statement Wednesday in support of the Democratic proposal to restore eligibility for parents denied from the successful NJ FamilyCare program by the governor, and the funding to support their participation:

“A person’s wellbeing being should not be determined by the size of their checkbook. NJ FamilyCare is for families who do not have access to available or affordable employer insurance, and cannot afford to pay the high cost of private health insurance,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “FamilyCare was created to provide working families with a safety net. To deny parents this option will only cost New Jersey money because we all know that when people cannot afford health insurance they are forced to go to emergency rooms for reactive treatment instead of prevention services. Restoring the eligibility and funds to NJ FamilyCare is the morally and fiscally responsible thing to do. It’s a win for healthy families and taxpayers.”

“It’s difficult to comprehend why the governor would see fit to deny a family the only health insurance coverage they can afford,” said Conaway (D-Burlington/Camden). “It’s a poor excuse for cost savings since cutting the program will only lead to higher costs to taxpayers through costlier hospital visits, and an insensible burden on families who don’t have access to or don’t earn enough to pay for private health insurance. The restoration of eligibility and funds to NJ Family Care will help families in New Jersey stay healthy, and hopefully will serve as a reminder to the governor that we have been placed in office to serve all residents of this great state, not a select, wealthier few.”

A $4 million appropriation has been restored in the budget to enable parents to enroll and continue to be enrolled in the NJ FamilyCare program.

NJ FamilyCare is a federal and state funded health insurance program created to help New Jersey’s uninsured children and low-income parents and guardians obtain affordable health coverage. For example, children in a family of four with a monthly income of up to $6,432 could be eligible.

Last year the governor barred enrollment from some parents in NJ FamilyCare. Since March 2010, the number of adults enrolled in NJ FamilyCare has been reduced by 19,200.