Ask Gov. Christie to stand up for our health care

Just when we thought the extreme threat from the Republicans in Washington to take away our healthcare had run its course for now, a new plan has hit the senate which would be even worse for the people of the U.S. and New Jersey.

This proposed bill, referred to as Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson, the sponsoring senators, which may be voted on in the next two weeks, would replace the guaranteed Federal funding of New Jersey’s Medicaid expansion and Medicaid in general with inadequate and temporary block grants with per capita caps.

According to current estimates by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the proposal would cost New Jersey $3.9 billion a year in lost Federal funding by 2026, and informed experts expect this would result in the loss of insurance coverage for 500,000 or more New Jerseyans, which we cannot afford. The formula envisioned by Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson for Medicaid would unjustly penalize New Jersey as a “high cost” state and immediately destabilize markets for individual health insurance across the country by removing Federal premium subsidies now required under the Affordable Care Act.

The senators who are sponsoring this bill are now lobbying their senate colleagues by telling them that there is strong support from state governors for their plan, and the Trump administration is also placing importance on buy-in from the governors of affected states. Accordingly, it is time for our governor to stand up for the people of our state. It is to Gov. Christie’s credit that in 2013, despite his philosophical disagreements with the Affordable Care Act, he acted to accept the federal Medicaid expansion in New Jersey, and now over a half a million New Jerseyans have insurance. We need to strongly urge the governor, as one of his last official acts in office, to publicly say a loud “no” to this attack on our healthcare.

Mark Lurinsky

Montclair

The writer is a member of the Healthcare Committee of BlueWaveNJ.

To residents concerned about pedestrian safety

On Tuesday Oct. 3, at 7 p.m., the Montclair Town Council will discuss a resolution to lower the speed limit on Grove Street to 30 miles per hour.

The Council has already approved an ordinance to widen the median on Grove Street, which will cause motorists to slow down. These two moves are the first steps to make drivers slow down and let pedestrians cross Grove without taking their life in their hands.

In the first half of 2017, 21 pedestrians were hit and sent to the hospital by vehicles on Montclair roadways. Grove Street had the most pedestrian crashes in town, including one fatality. Typically, Bloomfield Avenue is the most dangerous street in Montclair, but this year, Grove Street has had twice as many pedestrian crashes as Bloomfield Avenue.

The Montclair Pedestrian Safety Committee is asking all interested residents to attend the Town Council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m., at 205 Claremont Ave., to give your support. They need to hear from our citizens who are upset about the rampant speeding on Grove. If you can’t come, please email the Mayor and the Council members with your support.

Alex Kent

Chair, Montclair Pedestrian Safety Committee