Repealing the Medicaid Expansion: The Wrong Prescription for New Jersey

President-elect Donald Trump’s proposal to repeal the Medicaid expansion as part of rolling back most of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would harm New Jersey far more than most other states, Congressman Frank Pallone, health care policy experts and advocates representing Garden State consumers and hospitals said on a press conference call today.

“I want to thank New Jersey Policy Perspective for sounding the alarm and providing crucial insight as to the harm repealing Medicaid expansion would cause in New Jersey. More than half a million adults in New Jersey would lose their healthcare if the Medicaid expansion is ended,” said Congressman Pallone. “In just the district I represent, almost 40,000 adults would lose Medicaid coverage. Two-thirds of those people are low-wage workers, or are in a household in which an adult works. These individuals would have no other affordable healthcare option. As Ranking Member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I will work tirelessly to protect the Medicaid expansion and so many other important provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are under threat by the President-elect.”

The press call coincided with the release of a new report from New Jersey Policy Perspective, which lays out in stunning detail the damage such a repeal would have on the state.

The report finds that repealing the Medicaid expansion would:

  • Cause over a half million low-income residents to lose health coverage

  • Cost the state about $3 billion a year in federal funds

  • Reverse the historic progress New Jersey has made in reducing the number of residents without insurance

  • Deepen the state’s severe financial and budget crisis

  • Harm New Jerseyans across the state, as well as hospitals and other health care providers

“Repealing the Medicaid expansion would cause major harm for many struggling working New Jerseyans who are just trying to get by in a state with one of the highest costs of living in the nation,” said Ray Castro, NJPP Senior Policy Analyst and author of the report. “Most of these residents are working but they’re paid so poorly that, without Medicaid, they simply would have nowhere to turn for their basic health care needs.”

Advocates representing consumers and hospitals joined the call to warn of the negative consequences from repealing the expansion.

“Repealing the Affordable Care Act without an appropriate replacement would take us back to a place where hundreds of thousands of uninsured New Jerseyans receive care primarily in emergency rooms and charity care services top $1 billion annually,” said Betsy Ryan, President and CEO at the New Jersey Hospital Association. “The financial burden on hospitals would be tremendous, and we would all feel the impact through increased healthcare costs and reduced access to care.”