Category Archives: New Jersey Newsroom

Hypocrite Handlin Is Wrong On "Right-To-Work"

Republican Assemblywoman Amy “the Hypocrite” Handlin (LD13), has a guest column appearing in print and online in this weeks edition of the Independent, in which she states that she will be introducing a bill that will essentially strip all workers of their right to collective bargaining.

This guest column of her’s first appeared online at newjerseynewsroom.com back on May 31st and does not seem to have been updated since.

Since the first publication of Handlin’s column appeared over at the newsroom, I would be remised if I didn’t point out that her proposed legislation, which just so happened to be co-sponsored by her running mate in this years election Declan O’Scanlon, was dead on arrival. Good reporting and follow-up to Handlin’s commentary piece was done by Newjerseynewsroom reporter Tom Hester Jr.
In his follow-up which appeared July 8th, Hester spoke to NJ Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and is quoted as stating:
“This legislation is dead on arrival. It’s that simple. Dead on arrival.

Radical conservative ideology such as this has no place in New Jersey. This type of move may play elsewhere, but, quite simply, this anti-worker bill will never see the light of day.

Not only is this legislation an atrocious assault on worker rights, but it’s terrible economic policy, it would set back any chance we have under Gov. Christie of a strong recovery.”…


“Democrats and Republicans can work together for the common good and when appropriate to improve our economy and protect worker benefits, but this wage-cutting, anti-business bill is a line in the sand that cannot be crossed,”

Hester also quoted New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech who stated, “The deceptively named “right to work” policy is currently law in 22 states and is considered one of the most anti-union policies in the nation,” about Handlin and O’Scanlan’s proposed bill (A-4223).
So what is the purpose of having this old and out of date commentary printed in the Independent other than to mislead and misinform readers of her district, many of whom are hard working members of unions in both public and private unions? It is obviously a play at gaining support from the more conservative residents in the district and members of the TEA Party, who feel that she is out of touch and a “do-nothing”.
If this legislation ever where to be signed into law here in New Jersey it would undermined the livelihoods of not only union members, but all workers, white collared as well as blue collared.
Wages would remain stagnant and pension and health benefits would slowly dwindle away anytime a employer was concerned that his bottom-line was no longer big enough to support his mansion or yacht club membership.
Below are a few reader responses to Handlin’s commentary posted on the NewJerseyNewsroom, it seems that they also have a problem with her proposed and non existent, dead on arrival typically hypocritical legislation that is meant to pander instead of providing serious answers to her district’s problems:

“Right to Work”is a misnomer. It’s really the opportunity for any company to pay any employee any amount the company wants. Just what we need: more people earning less than a living wage and without any access to health care other than visits to the emergency rooms. So good for NJ! The assemblywoman cannot be so naive that she believes employers would care about safe working conditions. After all, money spent on safe working conditions would be better off lining the pockets of the wealthy. And, by law, union dues cannot be used for political purposes. Members must choose to donate into a separate fund. Now, if members are too scared to tell the union bosses they won’t donate, shame on the members. (Sarah H)

“Unions need a balance” – For the most part I agree with Ms. Handlin. I don’t think it’s an all or nothing deal though, unions are good things to have in otherwise unsustainably-low paying situations, but for professionals it makes less sense. Let the legislation you craft not try to swing the pendulum so far that it undermines the good side of unions, or it will surely fail.
( Ashley_)

” Handlin comments” – According to Handlin:“Right to Work would also quicken New Jersey’s economic revival. Right-to-Work states had 497,000 new businesses from 1993 to 2009, compared with 340,000 in forced union states, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently cited by the Wall Street Journal. That’s remarkable because just 40 percent of American workers live in Right-to-Work states.”

It’s hard to believe so many people fall for statements like this of Handlin’s, and support radical legislation like this. The truth is, what’s really remarkable is that ALL of the businesses she cites to being created from 1993 to 2009 weren’t created in Right-to-Work states…after all, in their pursuit of profits, businesses will do anything to keep the costs of labor down. Why is all the greatest economic growth now going on in China, India, etc? Because people will work 16 hour days for $12. Handlin sees that success spreading to the south, and now wants to bring it here to NJ. If it’s been so great for those 22 states, why is our per-capita income and standard of living so much higher here?

Thanks but no thanks, Amy Handlin, you’re just a rich legislator who wants to be even richer like all the others in your party. Some of us can still see right through all your party’s BS. (Richard W)

Leave a comment

Filed under 13th Legislative District, AFL-CIO, Amy Handlin, Declan O'Scanlon, New Jersey Newsroom, NJ State Assembly, public workers, right to work, Sheila Oliver, the Independent, union members

Is New Jersey Playing Games with Fracking Ban?

The following commentary from Dennis Anderson, Chair of the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Group of the Sierra Club and Joellen Lundy, President of N.J. Friends of Clearwater appears on the website Newjerseynewsroom.com as well as a few other sites.

I post it here because the subject of hydraulic fracturing(fracking) shale in order to release natural gas deposits that were unattainable before the process was developed, has become a very big issue. The chemicals that are used in the process have polluted ground water and surrounding lands with hazardous and carcinogenic residues, guest blogger Linda Baum posted a column about fracking and it’s dangers here back in April.

Since then a number of articles on the subject, both Pro and Con, have been making there way into the media.
Legislation banning Fracking in NJ, is sitting on Governor Christie’s desk waiting for his signature. Why he hasn’t signed it yet is anyone’s guess.
NJ is the most densely populated state in the nation and our natural resources will be placed at risk if franking is allowed to continue without the proper safety constraints in place to ensure that drinking water, wildlife and the general population are not placed risk:

Opponents of the environmentally damaging practice now sweeping the country of hydrofracking shale deposits for natural gas were delighted last week when the N.J. Legislature voted to ban the practice. The vote, 33 to 1 in the Senate and 51 to 11 in the Assembly, showed such a rare bi-partisan agreement so absent in today’s political discourse that many environmentalists hoped New Jersey’s politicians finally recognized that solving the state’s pollution problems transcends partisan bickering.

We hope this is the case, but we’re not sure. Gov. Christie, who has become increasingly hostile to the state’s environmental problems, has yet to sign the bill. If he does, it will be a watershed event. But will he? Sen. Joseph M. Kyrollis Jr. did not vote on the bill but offered an amendment — rejected by the Senate — to ban hydrofracking for five years. But why would Kyrollis delay hydrofracking?

There is growing public anger over hydrofracking, which requires enormous amounts of water and a number of toxic chemicals that the frackers are not required by law to report. Vice President Dick Cheney accomplished this dodge while in office. These undisclosed chemicals pollute both underground and surface water supplies. This debacle is very hard for politicians to support, so we may be seeing a “pretend” vote where pro-development politicians duck citizens’ ire by voting against hydrofracking, knowing that the governor will use his veto power to avoid an out-right ban and force environmentally responsible politicians to accept Kyrollis’ “compromise” that opens the door in five years.

The state of New Jersey deserves better. Until hydrofracking is absolutely safe, it must be banned. The first step would be to require complete disclosure of the chemicals they plan on indirectly pumping into our water supply.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fracking, Gov. Chris Christie, hydrofracking, Joe Kyrillos, Linda Baum, natural gas drilling, New Jersey Newsroom, NJ Friends of Clearwater, Sierra club

>N.J. Republicans look to restore $7.5 million for women’s health care; Action comes after they opposed two Democratic bills to do the same

>Now that it’s coming down to crunch-time with the state budget and the entire state assembly is up for re-election this year, 13 republicans have decided to join the Democratic bandwagon and support women’s heath issues by looking to restore $7.5 million to the budget that Governor Christie decided wasn’t necessary.

These Republicans, lead by Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco (R-Camden), have opposed this measure for the better part of 18 months and are only now joining forces with the Democrats because polling has shown that Governor Christie’s job rating has plummeted among women and they are now vulnerable on the issue.

It’s a classic example of flip-flopping on an issue in order to secure votes in an election year, on an issue that is extremely important to many of their constituents. But I wonder how hard they will actually fight for women’s health funding once the Governor comes down on them?

The following article written by Tom Hester Sr., appeared over on NewJerseyNewsroom.com:

Much to the surprise of Democratic women legislators who have tried for over a year to get Gov. Chris Chirstie to the restore $7.5 million he cut out of the 2010-11 state budget for women’s health care, 13 Republican Assembly members on Friday announced they are sponsoring a resolution to restore the aid to the shaping 2011-12 budget.

Assemblywomen Linda Stender (D-Union) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) responded to the announcement by describing the unexpected Republican action as an 11th hour political ploy designed to pander to the women they have abandoned for the last 18 months.”

As recent as May 19, Christie disapproved of restoring the $7.5 million. In the past year, he vetoed Democratic bills to restore the aid. Republican legislators have supported the governor’s position.

The Republican resolution stresses that no money could be used for so-called family planning. Democratic women legislators insist the money would not go toward funding abortions.

The resolution was announced at the end of a week that featured the release of a Quinnipiac University poll that showed Republican Christie’s job rating has plummeted among women. All 120 seats in the Legislature are up for re-election in November.


Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco (R-Camden), the prime sponsor of the new resolution, said, “Everyone wants to provide healthcare for our neediest women and their children and this resolution will make that possible responsibly and compassionately. This funding is an effective use of our resources to make sure that every dollar we spend is used to treat disease or to keep women and children healthy.”

The resolution would allocate the $6.2 million to federal qualified health centers and $1.3 million for New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection.

No money would be allotted to Planned Parenthood and the resolution would change budget language from “family planning services” to “women and family health services.”

“This is an effective way to actually funding women’s health services without getting lost in political debate,” DiCicco said. “Anyone who is truly concerned about the well-being of New Jersey’s most vulnerable women and children can support this approach.”

When Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) introduced legislation to restore the $7.5 million on May 19. Michael Drewniak, Christie’s press secretary, said of the Democrats’ action, “It’s predictable that the majority party in the Legislature, led by Senator Sweeney, can’t resist the urge to open the public’s wallet as soon as a few extra dollars become available. We cannot throw out the sensible budgeting practices we’ve put in place just because of a modest increase in tax revenue.”

Continue reading Here

Leave a comment

Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, Loretta Weinberg, Medicaid, New Jersey Newsroom, women's health issues

>White House says N.J. benefits from proposed tax cuts

>

I posted the following just for some balance to offset the argument of the previous post.

From Tom Hester Jr. @ NewJerseyNewsroom.com
12/15/10

New Jersey stands to benefit if the House acts quickly on a bipartisan package that extends unemployment benefits and tax cuts, White House officials said Wednesday.

As many 4.7 million New Jerseyans would see more money in their paychecks because of the proposed 2 percent payroll tax cut. If the legislation is not approved, a typical working family faced a tax increase of over $3,000 on Jan. 1.

At least 321,774 New Jerseyans who have been jobless for an extended period would continue to receive jobless benefits under the legislation. If the package is not approved, the jobless benefits would end in the weeks ahead.

The package also includes an extension of the American Opportunity tax credit, which was used by 281,000 New Jersey families last year to help pay for college tuition.

Additional tax cuts in the legislation that also are geared at middle-class families include the Earned Income Tax Credit, designed to help families to climb out of poverty, and the Child Tax Credit extension, that would make sure families don’t see their taxes jump by up to $1,000 for every child.

“This tax cut plan, while not perfect, will help to grow our economy and create jobs in the private sector,” President Obama said. “It will help to lift up middle class families, who will no longer need to worry about a New Year’s Day tax hike. It will offer emergency relief to help tide folks over until they find another job. And it includes tax cuts to make college more affordable; help parents to provide for their children; and help businesses, large and small, to expand and hire. We worked hard to negotiate an agreement that’s a win for middle-class families, and a win for our economy, and we can’t afford to let it fall victim to delay and defeat. So, I urge Members of Congress to pass these tax cuts as swiftly as possible.”

White House officials described the proposals as responsible, temporary measures designed to support the national economy that will not add costs by the middle of the decade. Obama does not believe it is affordable to make the high-income tax cuts permanent and will continue to make his case for why the administration cannot extend these measures beyond 2012.

The Senate voted 81-19 in favor of the bipartisan tax cut package Wednesday afternoon. It now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bush Tax Cuts, New Jersey, New Jersey Newsroom, President Obama, tax cuts, the White House, Tom Hester

Behind Christie’s budget is the largest property tax hike New Jersey has ever seen

NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
BY STEVE LONEGAN

Rush Limbaugh is singing the praises of Governor Christie’s budget. National pundits talk of “spending cuts.” Some enthusiasts have gone as far as starting a “Christie for President” chant.

So many words. But as the big government spin machine rolls on, what is really happening?

Sweep away the bluster and the attitude, and behind it all is the largest property tax hike New Jersey has ever seen.

As was said of Bill Clinton’s budget in 1996 — “The era of big government is over — and all the programs are in place.” Underneath the hype that cocoons Christie’s budget is the fact that it grows state government by more than 6 percent — more than double the proposed 2.5 percent cap on local governments.

Beyond the rhetoric of phantom “spending cuts” is the fact that there are no layoffs in the bloated government payroll that exploded under the direction of Govs. Christie Whitman, James McGreevy and Jon Corzine. Every entitlement program is not just in place, but expanded. Property tax relief to suburban and rural taxpayers is reduced by an astonishing $2.56 billion.

Under Christie, New Jersey’s own Cap and Trade program is being implemented. This program not only mirrors, to the word, President Obama’s proposal, but places an enormous cost of $70 million on utility ratepayers this year alone.

And that’s not the only plank of the Obama agenda in the Christie budget. This budget implements the “public option” — called “family care” — and expands it by an astonishing $107 million, as the Christie administration announces its participation in the Obama “catastrophic pool.”

Christie’s budget expands entitlement programs as well, with food stamp eligibility expanded to 185 percent of poverty level, up from the traditional 135 percent.

Under this budget, state government grows at three times the rate of inflation. No departments are eliminated. No departments are consolidated. All bureaucrats remain in place and the central planners are in their glory.

Limbaugh, in common with other Christie cheerleaders, claims that the budget cuts spending by $11 billion. These are the infamous “phantom cuts” I spoke of earlier.

Here are the facts: The budget adopted by the Legislature in June of 2009 was $29.8 billion. The Christie budget spends $28.3 billion. Where’s the $11 billion cut?

The cut appears to be $1.5 billion, but where does it come from? Some $840 million of the cut comes from property tax relief in the form of school aid to primarily suburban school districts. Another $420 million comes from cuts to municipalities. And $1.3 billion in property tax rebate checks are eliminated.

This all adds up to a massive suburban property tax hike.

Are these real spending cuts — as in cuts that reduce the size and scope of government — or simply a cover story that hides a 6 percent spending increase?

Whatever it is, Limbaugh is buying it. It doesn’t matter to him that aid to taxpayers is cut by $2.56 billion, that the budget is down only $1.5 billion, with the other $1 billion being shifted to funding bigger government in Trenton.

State funding for pre-school programs, primarily in what used to be referred to as urban Abbott districts, is at a record $613 million, up from $593 million under Corzine. Christie called this “babysitting” during the election, but under him this “babysitting” is averaging more than $12,000 per child.

It’s shocking when you consider that places like Hoboken — with six-figure median incomes — were actually classified as Abbott districts and receive millions in free day care provided by Christie’s pre-school program.

Christie’s budget sends a record 60 percent of our income tax to these districts. Under Corzine the amount was 54 percent. Christie is doing to the suburbs what Corzine would never have succeeded in doing.

To further burden taxpayers, the runaway debt continues with the state borrowing an additional $500 million in new debt for school construction — primarily in the Abbott districts — without voter approval. The beleaguered State Pension System receives not a cent of the state’s required contribution, down from the $160 million budgeted by Corzine in 2009. This is not a cut — this is kicking the can down the road.

In this fragile housing market, homeowners can expect their home values to drop even further as buyers discount purchase prices due to higher taxes. The loss of school and municipal aid will drive up property taxes at a record pace, resulting in a corresponding loss in property values. This means a loss of annual income and a loss of wealth.

At a time when our nation is struggling to recover from a recession, this budget drives a dagger into our economic recovery. I wonder if Rush Limbaugh supports such policies?

Voters should urge their legislators to vote no on the Christie budget. A vote for this budget is a vote for record property tax hikes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gov. Chris Christie, Middle Class, New Jersey, New Jersey Newsroom, property taxes, Rush Limbaugh, Steve Lonegan, tax increase

Christie’s latest offensive against teachers may prompt mass exodus of NJ’s best

BY PAT SUMMERS
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

With a state budget that focuses almost entirely on cutting spending rather than raising revenues, it’s no surprise that Governor Chris Christie has targeted publicly funded teachers and education — astutely transferring financial problems from the state to local municipalities.

As proven on April 20, he can persuade a majority of the voting public — a.k.a. the disgruntled property tax-paying public — to defeat school budgets in districts where teachers refused to accept a pay freeze. The incongruity of a governor acting against his own state education system and its students was obscured by the elections results: for the first time since 1976, the majority of New Jersey’s school budgets were voted down.

Talk about a “bully pulpit.” Or as a letter to the Times of Trenton had it, “in taking money from the needy and giving it to the greedy,” Christie is a “reverse Robin Hood.” And that’s one of the nicest names he’s been called lately.

Christie’s latest maneuver against teachers is his plan to reduce pension and health benefits. Next month, he’ll request the passage of bills (1) requiring those who retire after August 1 to pay more toward health benefits and (2) changing how pension benefits are calculated, resulting in a loss of income.

Obviously, Christie hopes that rather than continue teaching and accept the projected cuts, eligible veteran teachers may opt out this summer. (Those retiring by August 1 will get a free pass.)

Of course, if seasoned, master teachers are forced to retire early for this reason, the schools, and the students, will be the losers — only for starters.

Overall, according to a Star-Ledger analysis, 20 percent of the state’s certified teachers are qualified for retirement. Should this happen, the two Mercer County districts probably most in need of excellent veteran teachers — the city of Trenton and the Mercer County Special Services District — could lose the highest number of them. In Trenton, those eligible to retire represent about 31 percent of the total, while the Special Services District virtually tied, at 30 percent.

And it gets worse, both for New Jersey students and fledgling teachers in the faculty room. More than 42 percent of those with doctorates and 25 percent of those with master’s degrees would be eligible to retire.

Through this shortsighted approach, the old management axiom, “Trust the veterans,” could become obsolete by September. Sure, the ranks may be re-filled with younger teachers inexplicably willing to enter a profession where they’re insulted, devalued and threatened. But they’ll lack for the “voices of experience” new teachers have traditionally had on staff, and their road to master teacher status becomes much longer.

All that will make a difference very quickly. Everyone in a town loses when school funding is cut. Ultimately, students who are less well-educated can only contribute less to their communities. Possibly less likely to get or hold jobs, they could become additional drains on the already reeling economy.

Not only does Christie dismiss the incalculable value of teacher experience, but he’s also treating the state’s fiscal problem with woefully outdated — and discredited — management techniques of his own. He’s practicing top-down, power-over “Scientific Management” — whereby employees lose dignity and are treated like machines, with money as the incentive.

Our state’s fiscal problems are not unique in the country. But Christie’s answer — a focus on cutting spending — has put New Jersey into “a small peer group,” the New York Times reported last month. Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia are all led by Republicans, a number with national aspirations.

As has been counter-argued on line and on the street, Christie’s selective about the groups he asks to sacrifice. He’s not calling on doctors, lawyers or bankers; nor is he asking millionaires to do their bit — which would be easy enough through re-enactment of the “millionaire’s tax,” which he insists won’t happen.

Finally, the ranks of those exempt from sacrifice also include the political appointees on Christie’s staff. Their salaries reportedly exceed the total for the same group under Governor Corzine.

2 Comments

Filed under budget cuts, Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey Newsroom, School Board elections, Teachers

Health insurance reform: How will it affect YOU this year!

From my friends at Newjerseynewsroom.com:

“Health care reform has been a long time coming – almost 100 years in the making,” said U.S. Rep Rush Holt (NJ-12). “Yet, the benefits will be felt immediately, giving families and small businesses control over their health care.

“Small businesses will soon receive tax credits, patients will no longer lose coverage when they get sick, and seniors will have help paying for prescription drugs and have access to free preventive care. And as it turns out, lawyers combing the legislation have failed to find any death panels.”

The following are key provisions that take effect within a year:

FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

SMALL BUSINESS TAX CREDITS — Offers tax credits to small businesses to make employee coverage more affordable. Tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums will be immediately available. Effective beginning for calendar year 2010. (Beginning in 2014, small business tax credits will cover 50 percent of premiums.)

FOR SENIORS

BEGINS TO CLOSE THE MEDICARE PART D DONUT HOLE — Provides a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the donut hole in 2010. Effective for calendar year 2010. (Beginning in 2011, institutes a 50% discount on brand-name drugs in the donut hole; also completely closes the donut hole by 2020.)

FREE PREVENTIVE CARE UNDER MEDICARE — Eliminates co-payments for preventive services and exempts preventive services from deductibles under the Medicare program. Effective beginning January 1, 2011.

HELP FOR EARLY RETIREES — Creates a temporary re_insurance program (until the Exchanges are available) to help offset the costs of expensive health claims for employers that provide health benefits for retirees age 55-64. Effective 90 days after enactment

FOR THOSE PRIVATELY INSURED

NO DISCRIMINATON AGAINST CHILDREN WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS — Prohibits health plans from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Effective 6 months after enactment. (Beginning in 2014, this prohibition would apply to adults as well.)

NO RESCISSIONS — Bans health plans from dropping people from coverage when they get sick. Effective 6 months after enactment.

NO LIFETIME LIMITS ON COVERAGE — Prohibits health plans from placing lifetime caps on coverage. Effective 6 months after enactment.

TIGHTLY REGULATES ANNUAL LIMITS ON COVERAGE — Tightly restricts new plans’ use of annual limits to ensure access to needed care. These tight restrictions will be defined by HHS. Effective 6 months after enactment. (Beginning in 2014, the use of any annual limits would be prohibited for all plans.)

FREE PREVENTIVE CARE UNDER NEW PLANS — Requires new private plans to cover preventive services with no co-payments and with preventive services being exempt from deductibles. Effective 6 months after enactment.

NEW, INDEPENDENT APPEALS PROCESS FOR NEW PLANS — Ensures consumers in new plans have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal decisions. Effective 6 months after enactment.

MORE FOR YOUR PREMIUM DOLLAR — Requires plans to put more of your premiums into your care, and less into profits, CEO pay, etc. This medical loss ratio requires plans in the individual and small group market to spend 80 percent of premiums on medical services, and plans in the large group market to spend 85 percent. Insurers that don’t meet these thresholds must provide rebates to policyholders. Effective on January 1, 2011.

NO DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SALARY — Prohibits new group health plans from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that have the effect of discriminating in favor of higher wage employees. Effective 6 months after enactment.

FOR THOSE UNINSURED

IMMEDIATE HELP FOR THE UNINSURED WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS (INTERIM HIGH-RISK POOL) — Provides immediate access to insurance for Americans who are uninsured because of a pre- existing condition — through a temporary high-risk pool — until the Exchanges up and running in 2014. Effective 90 days after enactment. (Beginning in 2014, health plans are banned from discriminating against all people with pre-existing conditions, so high_risk pools would phase out).

EXTENDING COVERAGE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE UP TO 26TH BIRTHDAY THROUGH PARENTS’ INSURANCE — Requires health plans to allow young people up to their 26th birthday to remain on their parents’ insurance policy, at the parents’ choice. Effective 6 months after enactment.

GENERAL REFORMS

COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS — Increases funding for Community Health Centers to allow for nearly doubling the number of patients served over the next 5 years. Effective beginning in fiscal year 2010.

MORE PRIMARY CARE DOCTORS — Provides new investment in training programs to increase the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals. Effective beginning in fiscal year 2010.

HEALTH INSURANCE CONSUMER ASSISTANCE — Provides aid to states to establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance to help consumers file complaints and appeals. Effective beginning in FY 2010.

CREATES NEW, VOLUNTARY, PUBLIC LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE PROGRAM — Creates a long-term care insurance program to be financed by voluntary payroll deductions to provide benefits to adults who become functionally disabled. Effective on January 1, 2011.

MORE REFORMS THAT BEGIN IN 2014 (WHEN EXCHANGES HAVE FORMED)

NO DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ADULTS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS

BAN ON HIGHER PREMIUMS FOR WOMEN

PREMIUMS BASED ON AGE CAN ONLY VARY BY A MAXIMUM OF 3 -TO -1 RATIO

CAP ON OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES for private health plans.


Leave a comment

Filed under healthcare reform, New Jersey Newsroom, Seniors, small businesses