Health care is essential to everyone in New Jersey. Today our uninsured rate (8.75%) is at a 30 year low. Proposals to decrease funding for Medicaid and political threats of eliminating subsidies for people to buy insurance are harmful to NJ’s insurance market and NJ residents. People want to go to work, enjoy their weekends, and not have to worry about losing their health insurance. The more we can do, together, to lower the cost of health care, and extend health insurance to everyone in NJ, the better. That is what our leaders need to focus on.

New Jersey leaders should focus on keeping the Medicaid expansion alive and well to make sure that the 550,000 newly insured people, many of whom have received needed care for substance abuse and mental illness, can continue to receive treatment. Our leaders should focus on increasing efficiencies and reducing waste in the State Medicaid program. The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute issued Medicaid 2.0: Blueprint for the Future which contains 24 consensus recommendations to assist the State in modernizing its program.

Our leaders should focus on eliminating “surprise medical bills,” a problem that harms patients, employers, and taxpayers throughout the Garden State.

We must improve health care quality and make it more affordable in NJ. Indeed, if the current administration wants to increase transparency, it can make plenty of data, regulatory reports and filings public on its websites tomorrow — no new laws needed. We would support such a move and have been calling for greater access to information.

The newest proposal to put paid political appointees on Horizon’s board is unhelpful when greater fiscal restraint and a more consumer focused strategy is needed for New Jersey’s largest insurer. And proposals to raid its reserves without any findings that the reserves are excessive or anti-competitive are troubling given our dire need to protect and improve health care in our State.

It’s time to focus on helping our residents keep their health care.