NJ Citizen Action Holds Health Care Outreach Event for 13th Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act

Rahway, NJ – March 24, 2023 – New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) participated in a health care outreach event yesterday as part of a commemoration of the Affordable Care Act’s thirteenth year. The event, hosted by The Gateway Family YMCA in Rahway, shared information about affordable healthcare options on the ACA Marketplace and the importance of protecting the gains we’ve made for communities across NJ.

NJCA Outreach Coordinator Ivette Fernandez (L) and Health Care Program Director Laura Waddell (R)

NJCA calls on Congress to support President Biden’s recently announced plan to “finish the job” by making affordability provisions permanent, increasing taxes on the rich and corporations to fund Medicare and Medicaid and holding drug corporations accountable for price-gouging. 

“Today we celebrate 13 years of progress in health care: expanding access, improving affordability, and ensuring protections for millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans,” said Laura Waddell, NJCA Health Care Program Director. “As we lift up the ACA today, we must look to build on its progress. Communities like Rahway, with its almost 9% uninsured rate, are reminders of the work still left to do until everyone who wants health coverage can access it whenever they need it at a price they can afford.”

In addition to educating community members about their healthcare coverage options, NJCA also collected postcards to send to Republican Congressman Tom Kean, Jr. who represents Rahway. The postcards highlight community support for Congress to invest in affordable healthcare including the ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid. Republican House members have been proposing cuts that are likely to negatively impact these vital programs.

ACA’s significant impact in NJ over the past 13 years includes providing quality, affordable coverage to over 1 million state residents, protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage, closing gaps in Part D prescription drug coverage to make drugs more affordable for older adults, and the essential protections it offered throughout the pandemic. Looking forward, advocates and leaders highlighted how, with the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, many are expected to lose Medicaid coverage, and affordable healthcare plans in ACA marketplaces will be critical in ensuring people maintain coverage and access to care.

“It is critical that our Congressional Representatives support affordable healthcare coverage options for NJ communities. We need to protect the gains we’ve made like capping the monthly costs of insulin. The GOP budget proposals that let the ultra wealthy and corporations off the hook from paying what they owe are dangerous and would result in cuts to vital programs that countless families rely upon. We call on Republican Congressmen Kean Jr., Van Drew, and Smith to defend our communities’ healthcare,” said Liz Glynn, NJCA Director of Organizing.

Last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, which resulted in critical improvements to health care coverage in NJ, saved residents hundreds of dollars per month on their premiums and expanded coverage to residents who would otherwise be uninsured. The IRA also provided affordable coverage to 60,000 small businesses that make up 23% of ACA enrollees in the state. NJCA called on all NJ Members of Congress to reject GOP proposals to repeal the IRA, which would increase costs on insurance coverage and prescription medicines for people in Medicare, as well as GOP spending cut proposals targeting Medicaid and Medicare in order to finance more tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.

President Biden earlier this month proposed increased investment in Medicaid to expand access to mental health services, substance abuse treatment and home-based care and services for aging people and people with disabilities. He proposed funding the investment with increased taxes on wealthy people making over $400,000 and large corporations that received tax discounts under the Trump tax law and by closing corporate tax loopholes.