Governor Christie must soon decide whether New Jersey will expand its Medicaid program under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Now that Governor Corbett has moved to turn it down in Pennsylvania, at least for now, the pressure is on him to act. Will he follow Corbett’s lead or chart a separate course?
In his blog, Dr. Drew Harris says “the decision before Governor Christie should be easy,” pointing to NJPP’s report that “estimates that if the Governor signs off on the Medicaid expansion the state will receive $10.7 billion in federal funds in the first five years. Much of this will cover low-income workers in the service and construction trades—groups that have traditionally high rates of uninsurance. These funds will significantly offset part of the state’s charity care costs. In 2011, the New Jersey hospitals provided $1.3 billion in uncompensated care for low-income and uninsured patients for which they were reimbursed $675 million from the state budget.”
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