Your health insurance premiums could explode, because of a strange deal proposed by outgoing Governor Chris Christie and Democratic leaders including State Senate President Steve Sweeney.
That deal, proposed but not finalized, would spend $300 million on drug rehab, money that eventually will be repaid by the poor and the small business owners on the health exchange run by the state’s largest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, in much higher premiums and even lousier coverage.
That’s because the $300 million would come from Horizon’s reserves. And it’s because the poor getting subsidies, and the small business owners or individuals who cannot get covered by a big employer, don’t have any choice but to be on an exchange.
Horizon is the largest insurer in the state, so this deal — going after Horizon’s reserves — basically targets hundreds of thousands of poor people and struggling business owners who have no choice but to pay whatever Horizon charges.
This is political bullying at its worst.
And to force the struggling poor, who already pay a price for the drug abuse of others, to pay a second time is almost downright immoral.
These millions would go, we are told, for opioid addiction treatment. This is suddenly Christie’s new indulgence, as he tries to recover (pun intended) from a historically low 15% job approval rating. How nice that he wants you and me to pay for that.
The next time you see Christie running a TV ad about how “the road to recovery starts now,” ask yourself this question: Where’s our road to recovery from eight years of a huge ripoff of New Jersey’s poor and small businesses?
How many years of rehab will WE need to recover from this latest ripoff?
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