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January 11, 2017

Medicaid Expansion was a Wise Move for New Jersey

Yesterday, Governor Christie gave a compelling and passionate speech in his State of the State address. It focused on an issue that has clearly touched him deeply and personally – drug addiction. His comprehensive plan to reduce addiction – prevention, treatment and recovery for both adults and children - included some innovative approaches, like recovery dorms for college students following treatment. He also called for expanding residential services to 18-and 19-year-olds to make sure that they do not have to wait for treatment. And he put forward a bold plan to prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage for treatment. Click here for a full text of the governor’s address.

In announcing his plan, the governor acknowledged that expanding Medicaid in New Jersey was a wise move, which was made possible through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Governor Christie was one of the few Republican governors who accepted the expansion so that more low-income citizens had access to health care. Yesterday, he highlighted its success, noting that more than 14,300 people received drug treatment because they qualified for Medicaid.

Medicaid expansion was a major win for New Jersey children and families. However, leadership changes in Washington bring threats to critical federal programs for children and families, including the ACA. Here at ACNJ, we are gearing up for a busy and challenging year ahead and pushing for more wins for kids. We are staying committed to advancing our ambitious agenda for children: expanding access to high-quality preschool, improving school attendance, tackling child hunger and ensuring access to health care.

ACNJ will continue to be here in these volatile times to keep you informed and help you take action on the issues you care about. Our reports, alerts and social media posts will keep you up-to-date so you can advocate with our state and national leaders. 2017 is Governor Christie’s final year and last budget. A new governor and legislature will be elected this November. Our #NJVotes4Kids Campaign will help make children’s issues prominent in the upcoming election and hold candidates accountable.

So, kudos to the governor for acknowledging the success of New Jersey’s Medicaid expansion and for his bold plan to address addiction. The Affordable Care Act has been essential in expanding health coverage and supports for substance abuse treatment. Governor Christie’s plan to combat substance abuse depends on continued access to health coverage, which we hope will make him a powerful ally in the fight ahead on the ACA.

This year, we plan to expand our outreach to you. We are starting the ACNJ blog series, providing timely information in addition to our regular communication. These blogs will give you an inside look at the issues of the day. They will also help you to get to know the talented, dedicated ACNJ staff better.


Cecilia Zalkind
President & CEO

Advocates for Children of New Jersey

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