Murphy: NJPP Report Underscores Need to Protect Medicaid Expansion; Says Elimination by Trump Would Be ‘Catastrophic’ for State

Newark — Democratic candidate for governor Phil Murphy today made the following statement on the release of a report by New Jersey Policy Perspective outlining the implications for New Jersey should the incoming Trump administration work to eliminate the Medicaid expansion achieved under the Affordable Care Act and which has provided healthcare to 528,000 low-income residents:

“I strongly oppose any effort by Donald Trump to strip away the health care of more than half a million New Jerseyans by unwinding the Medicaid expansion in his scheme to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act. Such an unconscionable policy is nothing more than playing politics with people’s health and safety — it is as short-sighted as it is cruel. Medicaid expansion is one of the true successes of the Affordable Care Act, and NJPP’s careful analysis shows just how much New Jersey would stand to lose.

“After years of financial mismanagement, the state would have no realistic way to protect health care for 500,000-plus residents or cover the anticipated $3 billion loss in federal funds. And those costs would no doubt be exacerbated by increased emergency room care, as those who lost their health care would return to the charity care system. It would be catastrophic for New Jersey from both the fiscal and public health standpoints.

“As recently as August, Governor Christie himself praised the state’s success under the expansion. If he retains the ear of the president-elect, as he claims, he would be wise to focus his efforts on protecting this policy from being reversed, and safeguarding both the health of hundreds of thousands of residents and the fiscal future of the state.

“As governor, I will lead every effort to stop the Trump administration from implementing policies detrimental to the people of our state. And I reiterate that if those policies include unconstitutional acts I will refuse to enforce them.”