Lisa McCormick today called on departing New Jersey Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez to advance her proposal to expand the federal Medicare health care coverage program to every New Jersey resident, regardless of age, health, or disability status.
“I applaud Assemblywoman Jimenez for her bold proposal to expand Medicare to all New Jersey residents,” said McCormick, who took four of ten votes away from U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in the 2018 Democratic primary election. “This is a commonsense solution that would provide affordable, quality health care to everyone in our state. I urge her to continue to push for this important legislation.”
Jimenez’s bill, A3908, would require the state to apply to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for a waiver of federal law to allow New Jersey to expand Medicare to all residents. The bill would also prohibit any health insurance carrier from offering a health benefits plan that includes coverage for health care services covered by Medicare.
“Medicare is a proven and effective health care program that has provided affordable coverage to millions of Americans for decades,” said McCormick, who is hopeful that New Jersey’s progressive movement will join her call for action. “Expanding Medicare to all New Jersey residents would ensure that everyone has access to the care they need, regardless of their income or health status.”
McCormick said the bill has been languishing in the Assembly Health Committee since it was introduced by Jimenez, who will not be returning to Trenton for the next legislative session.
Supporters of the bill argue that it would provide much-needed relief to New Jersey residents who are struggling to afford health insurance. They also argue that it would help to reduce the number of uninsured residents in the state.
“Opponents of the bill falsely argue that it would be too expensive for the state to implement, despite evidence that proves universal health insurance is cheaper,” said McCormick. “Critics also argue that it would lead to longer wait times for appointments and procedures because medical care would go to many sick and injured people who currently suffer and die without treatment.”
McCormick said the debate over the bill is unlikely to continue in the coming months unless voters make its passage a condition for voting for Democrats who are on the ballot in November.
“I would rather see the Republicans take control over Trenton than allow do-nothing Democrats to betray the 99 percent and serve the interests of those greedy corporations and megadonors that have made life so hard for working families,” McCormick said. “There are only a few competitive districts because the political establishment is very strong, but voters are not powerless and we should demand this one thing. If Nick Scutari and Craig Coughlin cannot deliver, then they should be relegated to minority status.”
New Jerseyans largely support expanding Medicare to provide basic health care coverage to every U.S. resident, regardless of age or employment status, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to expand Medicare to all New Jersey residents is a complex one that will need to be made by the state legislature.