Reps. Pascrell & Pallone, Hospital Representatives Address GOP Assault on America's Healthcare
PATERSON, N.J. – Today, U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, and Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, met with hospital representatives at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J. to highlight the impact a Republican repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on hospitals in New Jersey, as well as New Jerseyans who are benfiting from the health care law. In December, Pascrell wrote a letter to Gov. Christie and called on him to relay to House Republican Leadership the disastrous impact ACA repeal will have on New Jersey. Pallone has been a leader in speaking out against GOP efforts to repeal the ACA this month in Washington, and played a key role in authoring and passing the ACA in 2010.
Pascrell and Pallone were joined by Elizabeth Ryan, President and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association, Kevin Slavin, President and CEO of St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, and Dr. Michael Lamacchia, Chairman of Pediatrics at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.
“Our hospitals have been on the front lines of the implementation of the ACA and they will be on the front lines if it's repealed,” said Rep. Pascrell. “That is why I sent a letter to Governor Christie last month calling on him to outline our state’s concerns to House Republican Leadership in their request for feedback from governors on ACA repeal. The deadline for feedback was last Friday, so I expect the Governor will make public the letter which I can only assume strongly defends the interests of our state and our people.”
“The ACA has expanded and protected coverage for millions of Americans,” said Pallone. “More than 20 million previously uninsured Americans have newfound health security, including 95 percent of America’s children. If Republicans proceed with repealing the ACA, they will rip health care away from millions of people and raise premiums for millions of others, while adding more stress to local hospitals. Repealing the ACA would turn care into chaos, and would make America sick again.”
Last month, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the current and incoming chairmen of the House Committees on Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and the Workforce sent a letter to governors and state insurance commissioners seeking their feedback on various changes to the ACA and the health insurance system as a whole. One of the prominent Republican health care reform ideas that will have the most significant impact on states is repealing the Medicaid expansion.
Governor Chris Christie has expanded New Jersey’s Medicaid program under the ACA, but that infusion of federal Medicaid dollars and coverage for the New Jerseyans who enrolled would be in serious jeopardy if Republicans go through with their plan to repeal it.