Newark — Phil Murphy, Democratic candidate for governor, called the Trump Republicans’ plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act as their first order of business in the new Congress on January 3, “a disaster for families across New Jersey, a disaster for health care providers, and a disaster for our state’s finances.”
Murphy noted that converting Medicaid to a federal block-grant program — as has been proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan — could cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars more in federal funds.
Murphy said that even if certain parts of the law are retained, the elimination of provisions that allowed for its financing could create a domino effect that could impact countless state residents in other ways:
- 3.8 million residents with pre-existing conditions are protected by the law’s requirement that no one can be denied health care or charged more for it due to a pre-existing condition; without this requirement, these millions of New Jerseyans could see their health care costs skyrocket or lose their health care altogether.
- Roughly 249,000 residents have purchased health insurance through the state’s ACA exchange, coverage that could evaporate if the exchanges created under the law are dismantled.
- According to the federal Department of Health and Human Services, the law’s incremental closing of the prescription drug “donut hole” has saved 212,000 state seniors $263 million on their medications — an average of $1,241 per senior — savings that could be lost.
- 59,000 young adults have retained coverage through the law’s provision that allows them to remain on their parents’ health insurance until age 26; relieving insurers of this requirement would make it much harder for this group to maintain health insurance
“I will fight alongside our Congressional delegation against this repeal to protect the health care of our residents,” said Murphy. “Governor Christie hasn’t shown any leadership. As governor, I will.”