New Jersey Policy Perspective, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that conducts research on public policy issues in New Jersey, reported today that the Medicaid expansion provision U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg and Congressmen Frank Pallone fought to have included in the Affordable Care Act would save New Jersey $2.45 billion during the next nine years.
Much of that savings would be because the federal government would pay a much larger share of the cost for covering some adults who already are eligible for Medicaid and NJ
FamilyCare. Specifically, the federal government would pay 100 percent of the cost of covering low-income parents currently enrolled in FamilyCare from 2014-2017, and 90 percent thereafter through the year 2022.
This provision, included in the landmark healthcare legislation, was able to apply to New Jersey after Senator Menendez, Senator Lautenberg and Congressman Pallone worked with the Center for Medicare Services to ensure these individuals were properly recognized as "newly eligible" for Medicaid starting in 2014, when the law will be in full effect. However, this funding will only be available if New Jersey participates in the health law's expansion of Medicaid.
"Even some people who had been the harshest critics and opponents of the Affordable Care Act are seeing its value in providing insurance coverage to more people while reducing health care costs to taxpayers," said Senator Menendez. "I am very proud to have worked with officials on the state and federal levels to have this cost-saving provision included in this landmark health care reform legislation. I thank the researchers at New Jersey Policy Perspective for their careful and objective study."
"It's clear that expanding Medicaid is a great deal for New Jersey taxpayers and families. We can open up health care access to many of the New Jerseyans who need it most and put our state on stronger financial footing far into the future," said Senator Lautenberg. "Expanding Medicaid will go a long way to making sure that in New Jersey, nobody gets left behind."
"Expanding Medicaid in New Jersey just makes sense. As laid out in this non-partisan study, the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act will save New Jersey billions of dollars," said Congressman Pallone. "Even some of the Affordable Care Act's harshest critics, including conservative governors throughout the nation, are beginning to recognize the importance of these savings and how critical expanding coverage to New Jerseyans will be. The Medicaid expansions under the Affordable Care Act will improve the health of many throughout the state with the added benefit of extraordinary cost savings."
"We already know that accepting billions of dollars to expand Medicaid will improve New Jersey's health and economy as well as create more jobs," says NJPP senior policy analyst and report author Raymond Castro. "But this report also shows that it would result in major savings in the state budget, which could benefit taxpayers and more than offset any additional state costs that might occur from the Affordable Care Act. New Jersey cannot afford not to expand Medicaid."