June 22, 2017: Statement of Betsy Ryan, New Jersey Hospital Association President and CEO, on the U.S. Senate’s ‘Better Care Reconciliation Act’

“The new Senate healthcare bill shows a callous disregard to the well-being of millions of American families.

“Amid a deep partisan rift, we have sadly lost sight of those who would be most affected by this measure and its radical changes to the Medicaid program:

  • Children and families, including one in every three New Jersey youngsters who are covered under NJ FamilyCare.
  • The disabled, including 205,000 people with disabilities in New Jersey who rely on Medicaid.
  • Senior citizens, many of whom rely on Medicaid for assistance with Medicare premiums. In fact, 45 percent of Medicaid spending in New Jersey assists senior citizens who are also enrolled in Medicare.

“The ironically named Better Care Reconciliation Act would in fact be far worse for patients and our nation’s healthcare system. Without health insurance, access to primary and preventive care is threatened, returning us to the days when the uninsured had few options but to use the emergency room for all their healthcare needs. That’s not better for the patient.

“The emergency room is the most intense, and expensive, level of care in our healthcare delivery system. Using the ER as our healthcare safety net is not better for our healthcare system.

“And shifting the costs of the Medicaid program from the federal government to the states is not better for New Jersey patients or taxpayers.

“Our healthcare community is proud of the healthcare services we provide to all New Jerseyans, and we stand by that commitment no matter what lawmakers in Washington, D.C., decide on the fate of health insurance for millions of Americans. We are grateful for the support of New Jersey Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker in opposing the BCRA, and we look to the rest of our elected officials for the leadership and courage to stand up for the health of their constituents.”