Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) announced his decision Monday to oppose legislative proposals to revise the state’s oversight of Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey with the following statement:
“Today I am announcing that I will oppose the legislative proposals currently pending before the legislature that would change both the mission and the management of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. My decision is based on a number of concerns.
“First and foremost, the current proposals reek of a vindictive response by Gov. Christie following his unsuccessful attempt to shake down the company for $300 million to fight the state’s opioid crisis. While the program to fight the opioid crisis is commendable, his tactics in trying to secure funding seem more like those of a third-world dictator than that of a leader in a democratic republic, and merit rebuke.
“While there may be a good argument to be made for some reform measures, the health care services Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey provides are critical and any reform should not be rushed. As the country awaits the outcome of federal attempts to revise the Affordable Care Act, New Jersey would be wise to wait until we have a clearer picture of the national landscape before taking action.
“Finally, whatever reforms we might eventually consider, they should be evaluated based on how they might help improve both the quality and the affordability of health care for the residents of our state rather than any attempt to secure funding for a single program in the state budget.”