Rahway, N.J.–In a statement issued this morning, Rahway City Councilman Bob Bresenhan urges New Jersey voters take immediate action today and call their legislators telling them to vote "NO" on NJ bill S-4 (Vitale).  This bill ultimately seeks to raid the profits of New Jersey's number one health insurer Horizon to "fix" New jerseys budget problem.  "Take 5 minutes out of your day today to stop these 'Trump-Care" style tactics in Trenton by Chris Christie and his allies seeking to raid the coffers of Horizon", said Bresenhan.
Time is of the essence as the New Jersey state senate votes tomorrow, June 29, 2017, on S-4, a measure that will forever set a new precedence with the government telling a company how much money they may hold in reserve.  "Today's it's Horizon who coffers the Governor and allies are looking at.  Whose coffers will be the next target of Governor Christie and the legislature, Vitale's Sign Shop (owned by Senator Joe Vitale) or Kennedy Jewelers (owned by Assemblyman Jim Kennedy) or some other well run business showing a profit? Where does it end once this Pandoras box is opened?" concluded Bresenhan.  "Basically stealing from HORIZON or any business is not the answer to New Jersey's budget woes." Approval of this bill this will set a bad precedence and could ultimately end up being used and abused as a tool in the future for NJ governors and legislatures to raid companies and their assets, profits, and so on to fix NJ's budget problems. If approved this will be a short term fix that will have far reaching and long term implications and could be the start of the demise of Horizon, our major healthcare insurer in the state of New Jersey. 

Appearing earlier Sunday in New Brunswick before the Working Families Alliance, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy bemoaned a budget-tied raid of Horizon as proposed by Governor Chris Christie. “It’s the inside trading of favors,” Murphy said. “It is just jaw dropping. You’re seeing it play out right now the governor is the chief steward."

NJBIA President & CEO Michele N. Siekerka issued this statement Monday regarding S. 4, affecting the capital reserves of Horizon BCBS of New Jersey. The legislation was introduced Friday and is before the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee this afternoon.

“The New Jersey Business & Industry Association remains opposed to any legislation that appropriates funds from Horizon’s capital reserves, which under nationally followed best practices, are meant to protect Horizon’s 3.8 million policyholders.

“This is money that New Jersey businesses and policyholders have paid in premiums, and it must be kept in reserve to pay future healthcare bills. It is inappropriate to divert Horizon policyholders’ money to pay for other state programs.

“With all the uncertainty in Washington right now about the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the impact of that on New Jersey’s healthcare marketplace, this is certainly not the time to rush through any plan that could jeopardize Horizon’s ability to pay future claims or put its policyholders at risk for higher premiums.”


“We strongly urge Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to hold the line and not post this bill for consideration at this time,” Tom Bracken, head of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, today beseeched the sitting speaker. “The NJ Chamber realizes that by not passing this legislation there is the potential of a government shutdown. The shutdown will be temporary.  The negative impact of this legislation will be permanent. It will cause businesses to shut down, jobs to be lost, significant economic distress and serve as a blow to our state’s reputation as ‘business-friendly.'”

Horizon officials report that apparently Senator Vitale withheld amendments on the bill to the last minute, and have compared his "secretive process" to what Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell in Washington did on drafting the bill seeking repeal of Obamacare.  Horizon spokesman Kevin McArdle reported in a statement "We found his bill on the Legislature's website at 7 p.m. on a Friday," The bill "needs to be defeated," McArdle said. "Horizon is always willing to work with anyone to improve access to affordable care, but we support the elected leaders on both sides of the aisle, and our business, consumer, and labor leaders who have said that any effort to single out and politicize Horizon during 11th hour budget talks is wrong."


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