11 Jul: Buono-Vitale Express Disappointment Resolution To Overturn Governor’s Medicaid Waiver Failed

TRENTON – Senators Barbara Buono and Joseph F. Vitale, the sponsors of a concurrent resolution which would override the Governor’s veto of language in the FY 2012 Budget prohibiting him from making drastic and draconian changes to New Jersey’s Medicaid system, expressed disappointment that Senate Republicans failed to stand with the majority caucus in overturning the veto.

According to the Senators, under the Administration’s proposed rule change through the Comprehensive Medicaid waiver, income eligibility for Medicaid and New Jersey Family Care would be reduced from 133% of the federal poverty level, or $29,726 a year for a family of four, to just 25% of the federal poverty level, or $5,588 a year in income for a family of four. The new income threshold, in addition to increased co-pays, a cap on medical spending and lowering the threshold for the duration or scope of services, would result in thousands of New Jersey residents losing access to health care.

“The Governor’s line-item veto of the Medicaid Waiver language was cruel and vindictive, and puts New Jersey’s working poor in jeopardy of losing access to health care,” said Senator Buono, D-Middlesex. “The fact that none of my colleagues from across the aisle could generate a single vote of conscience on this measure shutting the door on the Governor’s dangerous cuts to Medicaid speaks volumes about their priorities. We should not be balancing our State budget on the backs of those who can least afford it, and by giving the Governor carte-blanche to impose draconian rules on Medicaid, we’re allowing him to decimate the State’s health care safety net.”