Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday said President Obama should ask the U.S. Supreme Court to settle the constitutionality of federal health care reform.
At an appearance at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, the Republican governor said uncertainty over the legitimacy of the health care program is harming the economy because businesses are not sure what their health care costs would be, the Associated Press reported.
A federal appeals court has ruled program’s requirement that every American have health insurance is unconstitutional. The issue is expected to reach the Supreme Court eventually.
Christie and state Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd visited the hospital to highlight the impact of the $20 million hospital funding increase in the 2011-12 state budget and what they see as the importance of changes designed to improve the funding formulas for charity care, the Hospital Relief Subsidy Fund and Graduate Medical Education.
Trinitas will receive the largest increase in state funding at $5 million.“New Jersey’s hospitals are vital community assets in the health care safety net for our most vulnerable citizens,” Christie said. “For the second consecutive year, this administration has taken measures to protect our hospitals and those they serve. Through increased resources and common sense reforms, we are strengthening New Jersey’s safety net for those who need it most and ensuring that funding benefits the most vulnerable patients rather than administrative costs and bureaucracy. In addition, the budget also makes a significant investment in the future of New Jersey’s physician workforce by increasing funding to our teaching hospitals to $90 million.”
Charity care, which supports the care that all 72 New Jersey hospitals provide to the uninsured, has been increased to $675 million. All 38 teaching hospitals will receive a total of $90 million in Graduate Medical Education aid. In addition, the 72 hospitals will receive a total of $166 million in Hospital Relief Subsidy Funds, which supports the care hospitals provide for behavioral health, pregnancy, childbirth and newborn services.
Trinitas will receive $55.9 million in hospital funding for 2011-12, an increase of $5 million. The funding includes $44 million in charity care, an increase of $841,000; $9.7 million in Hospital Relief Subsidy Funding, an increase of $3.3 million; and $2.2 million in medical education aid, an increase of $859,000 over Fiscal Year 2011.