State officials, nonprofit leaders offer advice on where to turn as, with businesses shutting down, thousands lose insurance along with jobs
By Jon Hurdle, NJSpotlight
Many thousands of New Jerseyans have lost their employer-paid health insurance as businesses across the state have closed their doors in the COVID-19 pandemic, and now employees are scrambling for coverage through Obamacare or Medicaid.
State officials and nonprofit leaders offered advice on Wednesday on how to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Medicaid, and on where to turn if you are among the estimated 500,000 people who were uninsured even before the coronavirus hit.
Some 70% of New Jersey employees get their health insurance through their employer, and so loss of a job often means loss of health coverage, said Maura Collinsgru, health care program director for New Jersey Citizen Action, a liberal advocacy group that provides direct services to low- and moderate- income people.
The Democrat and Republican candidates for Monmouth County Freeholder each said they would not accept County funded health insurance if elected to the part time position next month.
Republican candidates, Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger and Hazlet Deputy Mayor Sue Kiley, have long opposed part-time elected officials exploiting the taxpayers by taking excessive benefits. Democrat candidates Larry Luttrell and Amber Gesslein each told MMM that would not accept taxpayer funded health benefits if they are elected.
The Independent candidate, disgraced Freeholder John P. Curley, has been sticking Monmouth County property taxpayers with the cost of his medical care for most of the last two years and he opposed a recent resolution against the practice.
Obamacare has been, to put it mildly, burdensome for small businesses in New Jersey. Soon, the Senate will have a chance to do something about it.
Year after year, when the National Federation of Independent Business surveys its members, they say their number one priority is healthcare, but the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, has made things more difficult for them. Its onerous taxes and mandates have increased costs and reduced choices.
Contrary to nonsense being spread by the Monmouth County Democrats and the The Asbury Park Press, Deputy Freeholder Director Serena DiMaso, a Republican, did not receive health benefits as compensation for being a Freeholder from 20012 through 2015. Neither DiMaso nor Monmouth County violated Freeholder resolutions passed in 2009 and 2010 prohibiting the county from providing health benefits to freeholders. DiMaso’s participation in Monmouth County’s health care plan did not cost the taxpayers of the county any money.
Alix Antoine, 36, an Asbury Park Police Officer, was arrested on Monday and charged with second degree Official Misconduct, Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct, Insurance Fraud and third degree Tampering with Public Records. Antoine’s sister, Patricia Louis, a/k/a Patricia Antoine, 43, of Clifton, was charged with one count each of second degree Conspiracy to Commit Official Misconduct and Insurance Fraud.
According to a statement by Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni, Antoine filed documents in connection with his employment as a police officer enabling Patricia to obtain medical benefits she was not entitled to receive.
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As Governor Christie has often said, Republicans underestimate President Barack Obama at their own peril.
Using the authority granted to him in the ObamaCare bill that had to be passed before America could find out what was in it, Obama mandated that contraceptives be covered by all health insurance plans, including those provided by employers affiliated with religions that are morally opposed to contraception.
Obama laid a trap for Republicans. They fell for it like a horny teenage girl whose boyfriend promised her he would pull out. It’s almost too late to reverse the consequences.
Now the national debate is over contraception. Not unemployment. Not foreclosures. Not war. Not terrorism. Not the price of gasoline. Not the national debt. Not the mandates of ObamCare. We’re having a national debate about contraception. Republicans have been framed as anti-contraception and as too far out of the mainstream to be a relevant political party.
Republicans could have framed this debate in context of their commitment to repeal ObamaCare if the law is not overturned by the Supreme Court. Instead they got into a national debate over contraception that will hamper, if not destroy, their chances of winning the White House and/or the Senate, even if the Court overturns ObamaCare.
Republicans in Washington and on the presidential campaign trail need to stop talking about contraception. They don’t have the votes to stop what Obama is doing. If they keep doing what they are doing, they never will.