Feb. 28, 2017: Statement of Betsy Ryan President and CEO, New Jersey Hospital Association, on Gov. Christie’s FY 2018 Budget Proposal

“Gov. Christie's budget address focuses a great deal of attention on healthcare. It's a critical issue that affects all of our lives.

“There continues to be tremendous uncertainty today for both healthcare providers and for the 800,000 New Jersey residents who have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and it's not the right time to further cut charity care. Hospitals sustained a $200 million cut to charity care last year, and each time we cut charity care the state of New Jersey loses federal matching dollars. We need to keep this vital safety net program -- and those federal dollars -- intact as we wait to see what Congress and President Trump have planned for the future of health insurance coverage. At the same time, we appreciate Gov. Christie's recognition of other key healthcare priorities that need support: the Medicaid program which is so essential to providing coverage; graduate medical education, which helps us ensure a sufficient number of physicians for the future; and behavioral health and substance use disorder services. 

“In addition, we share the Governor's desire for a resolution to the out-of-network issue that would protect healthcare consumers from surprise medical bills. NJHA and its members are on record supporting several patient protections, including a greater call for transparency. We look forward to learning more about his proposal and being part of that conversation to pass an out-of-network bill that is fair to both healthcare providers and payers, but most importantly, to patients.”