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House-Passed GOP’s Trumpcare Would Hit New Jersey Harder Than Any Other State

Washington, DC, May 8, 2017 — Jonathan D. Salant reports in The Star-Ledger/NJ.com that U.S. House Republican cuts to Medicaid in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) would hit New Jersey harder than any other state.

The bill, which was passed by the House on May 4, would leave 500,000 more Garden State residents without health insurance than under current law, and New Jersey no longer would get extra federal funding for expanding Medicaid.

While New Jersey officials likely won’t seek waivers to allow insurers to sell bare-boned insurance policies and jack up rates for those with pre-existing conditions, the House Republicans’ health bill would hurt the state in many other ways.

“This waiver just made things worse but it was bad enough before the waiver,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6), who led the fight against the Republican bill as the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3), whose proposal on the state waivers led to approval of the Republican measure, said the Medicaid cuts are designed to force states to try hold down health care costs.

“What the Medicaid reforms really do is put pressure on the states to get costs under control,” MacArthur said.  “That’s where the pressure is.  It’s not going to be on patients.  I don’t ultimately believe it will be on hospitals or doctors either.  It’s going to be on states.”

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, criticized media coverage of the Republican legislation, which the Congressional Budget Office said would leave 24 million more Americans without health insurance than under current law.

Trump took to Twitter to complain: “Wow, the Fake News media did everything in its power to make the Republican Healthcare victory look as bad as possible. Far better than Ocare!”

For Salant’s full May 7 story, click here.

Follow Jonathan D. Salant on Twitter @JDSalant.