Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:19 AM
UnrepentantLiberal (11,700 posts)
Change in eligibility rules leaves thousands of N.J. residents without healthcare, lawmakers say
By Susan K. Livio
Dec 03, 2012
TRENTON — More than 46,000 people in New Jersey lost health coverage since March 2010 because of a complicated change in eligibility requirements for NJ FamilyCare, the popular state-run HMO insurance program for the working poor, lawmakers and legal advocates say.
Facing a wide budget gap in early 2010, the Christie administration announced it would not accept any more parents as new applicants and cut eligibility to only those families making no more 33 percent above the federal poverty rate, or $25,390 for a family of three, based on current income standards. Before the change, FamilyCare accepted parents if they had earned up to twice the poverty rate.
In addition, if parents’ income levels changed when reapplying each year, they would be deemed a new applicant — and rejected because the program was frozen.
Legal advocates for low-income families and legislators said they assumed freezing enrollment meant the 62,800 parents who earned slightly more than half the poverty rate and who were participating in the program prior to March 2010 would be "grandfathered" and allowed to remain until they got employer-sponsored benefits or moved out of state.
But as of November, just 16,300 of these parents remained in the program, even though some are earning less than they did when they first enrolled, legal advocates claim. Losing a job and getting unemployment, or receiving other sources of what the government calls "unearned income" such as child support, has in many cases disqualified them from health coverage.
"By treating them as new enrollees they are forcing these people out of the program when their fiancial situation has become more strained," said Laurie McCabe, chief of staff to Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Middlesex), who sponsored a bill to change the eligibility rules.
7 replies, 1258 views
Change in eligibility rules leaves thousands of N.J. residents without healthcare, lawmakers say (Original post)
Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)
Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:23 AM
ProSense (116,464 posts)
1. Wonder if Christie
"Facing a wide budget gap in early 2010, the Christie administration"
...regrets those tax cuts for the rich?
Is he kidding? Gov. Chris Christie wants more tax cuts for the rich
A few days after saying New Jersey is so broke it must cut medical benefits for retirees and freeze their pensions forever, Gov. Chris Christie now says he wants to cut income taxes for the rich.
Think about those priorities. Middle-class families just lost their property tax rebates. Schools lost nearly $1 billion in funding, their biggest hit ever. Thousands of working poor families were closed out of health care programs. And our colleges and universities were whacked hard, forcing tuition hikes as the state scholarship programs run dry.
The governor said those cuts were necessary because the state’s vaults were empty. He was the guy telling us to live within our means, to face hard realities. And now this — a tax cut that would blow a new hole in the budget.
The governor says cutting top tax rates will spur business investment. The truth is it would shower benefits on the wealthy indiscriminately. Yes, some of the money might be invested in New Jersey. But much more would be invested outside the state, and even outside the country. The only thing that would stay here for sure is the budget gap it would create.
- more -
N.J. revenue shortfall increases at least another $50M in May
By Salvador Rizzo/Statehouse Bureau
TRENTON — Once again, the latest revenue numbers are pushing hard against Gov. Chris Christie’s claims of a "Jersey Comeback."
Tax collections failed to meet expectations in May, continuing a months-long trend that is cranking up the pressure on New Jersey’s finances just as Christie and Democratic lawmakers are racing to strike a tax-cut deal by the end of this month.
Revenues were $50 million to $100 million under target last month, according to a memo sent to lawmakers by David Rosen, the budget chief of the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.
Meanwhile, the Christie administration said the shortfall was closer to $28.9 million in May and questioned Rosen’s credibility as a budget analyst.
- more -
Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)
Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:26 AM
atreides1 (11,896 posts)
2. And yet
Christie is popular because of how he acted in one situation...but now he and his "boot strap" supporters want Uncle Sam to foot the entire bill for Sandy...figures!
Response to atreides1 (Reply #2)
Wed Dec 5, 2012, 10:39 AM
JustAnotherGen (22,335 posts)
3. Hmmm not really
NJ pays a lot into the Federal till each year but we get back far less than what we put in. I guess I look at it as getting money back we've used to fund the lowest ten states in terms of what they put in vs. what they get back . . .
We have extremely high unemployment here (higher than national average) - and I don't think these issues are just the fault of the current government in Trenton. They are much larger and have a longer history than 2009. I was listening to 101.5 this am (98.3 keeps playing the same Christmas songs over and over and over again -not festive at all) - and the discussion was about reasons why folks would not vote for Christie again/or vote for him a first time when I switched over during my commute.
Know what one guy said? Turnpike rate increases and the one we are facing come January. Add that to the new toll increases into Manhattan/State Island via the bridges. My achilles tendon - is not doing enough bring blue collar jobs back to NJ. I'm sorry - but I'm beginning to believe that we need a corporate tax structure similiar to places like Alabama and Mississippi. Even if it's only temporary. . .
In the meantime - as a high earner living in NJ? I want my money back. We pay far more into the Federal till than we ever get back - other states that put in less - no one looks down their nose at them. Well - it's OUR TURN. We've offset state income tax for places like Florida for years - so now we need them to take the hit so we can get ours and get back to good.
And that goes for the citizens of NY state too . . . asking us to pay for Florida's state budget and NOT fixing Staten Island, and Queens and Brooklyn is criminal.
Sandy is gone - but the damage is still there. We need help. The Fed needs to pay for the $79 billion dollar recovery with the money that New Jerseyans and New Yorkers have been paying in all of these years. This way we support ourselves and move forward in other areas.