Last year, Governor Chris Christie boasted the success of expanding the Medicaid program in the state, arguing the "naysayers" have been "proven wrong" and that hundreds of thousands of additional New Jerseyans have insurance coverage.
Dear Governor Christie,
As one of the few Republican governors that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you have a unique opportunity to help President Trump and Congressional Republicans understand how successful the Medicaid expansion has been in New Jersey. As you have acknowledged, the Medicaid expansion was the right decision for New Jersey, resulting in expanded access to health care, as well as significant cost savings and robust job creation in the state.
On behalf of New Jersey's most vulnerable, it is time to stand up for our State and join the other Republican governors that have publicly advocated for maintaining the Medicaid expansion. If the ACA is repealed without ensuring coverage for the most vulnerable among us, New Jersey faces a grave threat. Beyond losing benefits of Medicaid expansion, a full ACA repeal would also cause tremendous economic and health shocks to the state.
What would happen if Medicaid expansion, along with the Affordable Care Act, were repealed?
86,000 jobs would be lost
New Jersey would lose $2 billion in state and local tax revenues
200,000 people on Medicaid would lose access to insurance overnight
An additional 200,000 New Jersey residents would lose their marketplace subsidies, making private health insurance unaffordable
60,000 young adults under the age of 26 would lose access to their parents' health insurance
More than 4 million New Jersey residents will have to shoulder the cost of preventive services and health care screenings
The urgency to tell New Jersey's Medicaid expansion success story has been heightened by your focus on expanding drug addiction treatment services. Efforts aimed at requiring insurance companies to provide six months of coverage for drug treatment are laudable, and once all of the proposed reforms are enacted, New Jersey will serve as the nation's leader in prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation initiatives.
But those efforts will surely ring hollow if coverage is eliminated for New Jersey's most vulnerable residents. It is time to serve as a leader in the fight to preserve Medicaid expansion and the ACA. It is time to lead on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents you were proud to insure, and who are now at risk of losing their coverage. It is time to share New Jersey's story of success -- loudly and proudly -- with President Trump and Congressional Republicans.
New Jersey leads. It's what we do. And New Jersey is leading by attacking the drug addiction crisis head on and proposing bold steps aimed at combating the epidemic. It's time to double down on those efforts and attack the threat posed by repealing Obamacare.
Stand up for New Jersey. Stand up for the Medicaid expansion. Stand up for the ACA. And most importantly, stand up for our most vulnerable residents. Be Jersey Strong. It's who we are.