2017 Gubernatorial Election/ Healthcare

 After the June 6th, primary elections the race for New Jersey’s next Governor is down to Republican Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Red Bank based businessman Democrat Phil Murphy. With a new Governor comes new ideas for state healthcare reform and these ideas could greatly affect NJ residents. With the federal government’s stance still up in the air, it begs the question: what does each gubernatorial candidate bring to the table when it comes to the state’s healthcare?

Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno

On her website, Guadagno states that private sector offerings and public health insurance plans should be in line with one another. If the state reduces ‘Cadillac’ health insurance plans for public workers and brings healthcare in line with private sector plans, the Pension and Health Benefits Commission found that New Jersey could save up to $2.5 billion and cut property taxes by 8%. All of this, her website states, would be done while still delivering high quality care.

If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed by the Trump  administration, Guadagno spokesman Ricky Diaz stated on, Guadagno “would urge Congress to make sure that any [new] federal plan maintains coverage for those who now have health care, and protects New Jerseyans with pre-existing conditions, provides choice, improves care and reduces cost.” Although Lt. Governor Guadagno said she disagreed with the passing of the ACA, the law’s expansion of Medicaid “worked for New Jersey” and if the half-million people who have Medicaid have to ,instead, go to hospitals for care, “our hospital system will collapse.”

Phil Murphy

Health reform on the state level is an undertaking Phil Murphy wants to tackle if he is elected, his website touts. Lowering insurance premiums by tightening the reigns on out-of-network costs is the first step in Murphy’s plan. He also aims to help women and children by restoring state funding to Planned Parenthood and ensuring all FDA approved methods of contraception are accessible to NJ women with no out-of-pocket costs. Along with that, Murphy plans to identify the state’s 75,000 uninsured children and enroll them in health coverage. Lastly, he wants to expand access to addiction and treatment services.

With the turmoil in government over the repeal of the ACA, Murphy’s spokesman Derek Roseman says the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), will mean “Less coverage, higher costs for those who most need care, and fewer people insured. Should there be changes to the Affordable Care Act, we will deal with them in real time and based on the actual substance of those changes.”.

He expresses the same fears as Guadagno over the nearly 800,000 New Jerseyans who would lose healthcare if the ACA is repealed and replaced by a plan that reduces Medicaid and Medicare coverage. He goes on to say about women’s health issues, “No woman should have to worry about access to proven, safe, and affordable contraception in 2017…our state should be a leader in protecting woman’s access to birth control.”

With the contentious debate over the direction of healthcare in this country comes uncertainty. Cosmo Insurance is committed to helping our clients find stability no matter which direction the wind blows.

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