For Immediate Release: March 15, 2017
Contact: Mika Highsmith-Hasan, Communications Manager Mika.Hasan@sjfmc.org or 609-481-3075
SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ AND HEALTH CARE ADVOCATES RALLY AGAINST THE PROPOSED HEALTH CARE PLAN
Burlington City, NJ – In the wake of the Congressional Budget Office’s devastating analysis of the proposed Congressional health care bill, Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers, Inc. (SJFMC) will host a health care forum and press conference led by U.S Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Representatives from the New Jersey Primary Care Association, New Jersey Hospital Association and the Mental Health Association of New Jersey will also take part in the panel advocating for the 24 million Americans who will lose their health care coverage by 2026, including 14 million by next year.
Senator Menendez released the following statement in response to the House Republicans’ health care bill.
“The report from the Congressional Budget Office confirms that Republicans never intended to ‘repeal and replace’ the Affordable Care Act – only to repeal and erase affordable health coverage for millions of Americans. Contrary to President Trump’s promise of lower costs for all Americans, the report also reveals massive health insurance premium hikes for consumers across the board – and especially older Americans approaching retirement. “
“Under this plan, a 64-year-old worker earning $26,500 a year would see their costs increase by an unfathomable 760 percent. It also slashes nearly a trillion dollars from Medicaid, leaving states with no choice but to kick pregnant women, children, Americans with disabilities and seniors in nursing homes out of the system.”
The legislation is troubling news for Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers, Inc. As a Federally Qualified Health Center(FQHC), SJFMC relies heavily on Medicaid, its largest payer representing 70% of its total revenue, to operate seven sites across southern New Jersey. The centers provide a range of vital primary care services including obstetrics, pediatrics, and dental to more than 53,000 patients a year.
“Through the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, we have been fortunate to provide life-changing primary care services to so many families in the communities we serve,” said Linda Flake, President/CEO of Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers. “The number of uninsured patients receiving care at SJFMC was reduced by 50% under the ACA. With the replacement plan, that expansion will end, and the 10,000 uninsured SJFMC patients who received coverage through the Affordable Care Act will lose their coverage and be left out in the cold! If passed, this plan will also have a disastrous effect upon our bottom line and will unfortunately result in service reduction. The new bill goes against what we stand for: our commitment to provide high-quality care to the underserved and uninsured populations in our region.”
New Jersey is home to 20 FQHCs like SJFMC. Those 20 FQHCs include 120 sites throughout the state, providing a million patient visits a year.
Currently, Medicaid payments to states are based on a matching formula, with the federal government paying states a share of their costs. The GOP proposes capping payments to states, with different amounts going to different categories of recipients — children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
In its analysis of the program, the Congressional Budget Office said those changes would reduce federal spending on Medicaid by $880 billion over the next 10 years, a 17.6 percent cut. The press conference will begin Thursday, March 16 at 11:45 a.m. at SJFMC’s Burlington City Center, 651 High St., Burlington, NJ 08016.
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ABOUT SOUTHERN JERSEY FAMILY MEDICAL CENTERS, INC.
For the past 40 years, the mission of Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers has been to provide and promote effective, culturally proficient, high-quality primary and preventative health, behavioral health and dental care services for residents and migrant/seasonal workers of southern New Jersey, regardless of their ability to pay, and to eliminate barriers to care based upon race, religious belief, ethnicity, economic status, gender, disability, linguistic capability, culture, sexual preference, national origin and residential status. SJFMC serves more than 53,000 patients, generating approximately 160,000 patient visits annually. For more information, please visit https://www.sjfmc.org