MONDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 2009
NJHA was honored to host the two major gubernatorial candidates Sept. 18 at a special meeting of our Board of Trustees. We also invited hospital CEOs to attend the meeting. The room was packed when our first candidate, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (R ) arrived. After being introduced by NJHA Board Chairman John Gribbin, Mr. Christie made a brief 10- minute statement. He cited some of the many problems confronting New Jersey’s healthcare community – poor reimbursement, the charity care burden – and promised to do “more listening than talking” on healthcare issues. He then proceeded with about 35 minutes of questions and answers with NJHA and its members. Questions ranged from dealing with public corruption in New Jersey, to providing healthcare to undocumented immigrants. It was a good dialogue.
Shortly after Mr. Christie departed, Gov. Jon Corzine (D) joined us. Gov. Corzine also made a brief 10-minute statement, discussing his commitment to healthcare access even as he was forced to confront unprecedented state fiscal woes. The Governor also responded to questions from the group, ranging from the need to fund Graduate Medical Education in the state to ensure adequate numbers of physicians, to the charity care formula, to dealing with public corruption in New Jersey. A very good dialogue occurred.
I think the audience was impressed with the depth of knowledge of both candidates, and we at NJHA were honored to have them both meet with our Board and hear their healthcare concerns.
Don’t forget to vote Nov. 3! New Jersey is one of just two states with a gubernatorial election (the other being Virginia), and the entire Assembly is up for election as well. The issues confronting our healthcare system and our state are far too important for any of us to stand on the sidelines.