Mar 23, 2017:Statement of NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan on Postponed House Vote on the American Health Care Act

March 23, 2017: Statement of NJHA President and CEO Betsy Ryan on Postponed House Vote on the American Health Care Act

“Our health is far too important to gamble with in an ill-conceived bill. We’re heartened that the American Health Care Act has not been rushed to a vote on a wave of political pressure. There is far too much at stake – and too many unanswered questions – to force through a bill that would jeopardize the health insurance coverage of 24 million Americans.

We especially appreciate the courage of New Jersey’s Congress members who have put their constituents first and held firm against the bill: Republicans Frank LoBiondo (R-2), Chris Smith (R-4) and Leonard Lance (R-7) and Democrats Donald Norcross (D-1), Josh Gottheimer (D-5), Frank Pallone (D-6), Albio Sires (D-8), Bill Pascrell (D-9), Donald Payne Jr. (D-10) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12).

The Affordable Care Act is not perfect, and we are committed to working with our elected officials on addressing some of its problems. But the AHCA before Congress today is not the answer. It would endanger the health of 800,000 New Jersey residents – senior citizens, children and families, the disabled, veterans and others – who have received health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. It would threaten the Medicaid program that serves 1.8 million N.J. residents. And it would be an economic disaster for our state budget, as well as hospitals and other healthcare facilities that care for all of us.

Any further changes to the bill that would erode healthcare coverage – such as removing essential health benefits including emergency care, maternity care, rehabilitation and mental health services – would be an especially callous attack on the well-being of New Jersey’s residents.

We must continue to protect our patients and our healthcare system by standing firm against this disastrous bill.”