In Healthcare, Murphy’s Budget Choices Emphasize Medicaid, Opioid Addiction

Hospitals and addiction programs are slated to receive at least $800 million in public support next year under Gov. Phil Murphy’s first budget. But many questions remain about how these funds would be allocated and whether the drug-treatment dollars involve new spending or just a reshuffling of existing resources.

In his budget speech yesterday, Murphy highlighted his commitment to women’s healthcare and backed a controversial Democratic bill to reduce the impact of out-of-network health insurance bills, which he said could help cut healthcare costs for state workers. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Vitale and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (both D-Middlesex), has been debated for nearly a decade.

Murphy also reiterated his commitment to protecting Medicaid, given ongoing federal efforts to scale it back through changes to the Affordable Care Act, and he called for adding $244 million to FamilyCare, as Medicaid is known in New Jersey. FamilyCare, which is slated to cost $4.4 billion in state funds next fiscal year and an estimated $10 billion in federal dollars, now covers 1.8 million Garden State residents.

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