New Jersey Citizen Action and Blue Wave New Jersey Praise Governor Murphy, State Legislature For Helping Stabilize Health Care Premiums

New Jersey Citizen Action and Blue Wave New Jersey Praise Governor Murphy, State Legislature For Helping Stabilize Health Care Premiums

Highland Park—New Jersey Citizen Action and Blue Wave New Jersey released the following statement today after an announcement by Governor Phil Murphy that New Jersey residents would see an average premium rate decrease of 9.3 percent on the individual market in 2019 due to legislative action taken here in New Jersey to institute an individual mandate for health insurance and stabilize the marketplace with a reinsurance program.

This average decrease puts rates about 22 percent lower than what they would have been without the legislation. Most states will see an increase in their average premium rates in 2019.

The premium rate decrease took place despite unrelenting attacks on the Affordable Care Act by the Trump administration and its allies like Congressman Tom MacArthur (NJ-3rd). These attacks have included a failed effort to repeal the ACA; the elimination of the individual mandate included in the Trump-backed GOP tax bill passed last November, for which Tom MacArthur was the sole New Jersey vote; eliminating federal funding for cost sharing reductions; slashing funding for other vital parts of the program; and backing a lawsuit in Texas federal court that would strip the ACA of protections for pre-existing conditions. The 18 ways the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have sabotaged the Affordable Care Act are outlined in this report from New Jersey Policy Perspective.  The GOP tax bill Tom MacArthur voted for also paved the way for $2 trillion in proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

NJCA and BlueWaveNJ credited Governor Murphy and the New Jersey State Legislature for taking quick action to protect New Jerseyans from these destructive policies.

“Governor Murphy and the NJ legislature took the bold step to protect New Jersey consumers by enacting a state individual mandate and reinsurance bill,” said Maura Collinsgru, NJCA Health Care Program Director. “These laws were passed in direct response to the elimination of the individual mandate in the 2017 GOP tax plan, which by itself would have led to a 7 percent increase in premiums. The Trump administration and its allies have forced other states to grapple with difficult premium increases. But thanks to Governor Murphy and our Legislature New Jerseyans have been spared from these inflated prices. Our state residents will see some of the lowest health care premium increases in the nation.”

“Last year, when the Trump administration was doing its best to kill Obamacare, my husband and I were facing a $400 per month premium hike and had to switch to a cheaper, high deductible plan,” said Rhonda Allen of Harding, a member of BlueWaveNJ. “We’re grateful to New Jersey legislators and Governor Murphy for taking  action this year to stabilize the market and provide some relief.”

“A special shout-out is due to New Jersey senators and assembly members who took the lead on this effective legislation,” said Marcia Marley, president of BlueWaveNJ. “They had to move fast to have a positive impact on premiums in 2019, and they rose to the challenge.”

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