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AARP Responds to Governor Christie’s Budget Address

AARP applauds Governor Chris Christie for proposing a state budget that protects citizens in the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold programs. These programs are vital to the physical health and financial wellbeing of low-income seniors and disabled New Jerseyans. By maintaining the programs without increasing costs, the Governor has extended essential financial relief to the poorest and most vulnerable residents of the state.

While the proposed state budget will not increase costs to PAAD and Senior Gold recipients, it does reflect a reduction in PAAD and Senior Gold spending. The spending reduction will be generated when the 2010 federal healthcare reform law gradually closes the prescription drug coverage gap in Medicare Part D, commonly known as the “doughnut hole.” Currently, the state-funded PAAD and Senior Gold programs cover the gap in Medicare Part D funding.

AARP also applauds the proposal to increase funding for New Jersey hospitals in the charity care program which is critical to ensuring hospitals have adequate funding. The governor’s budget proposes a net increase of $10 million.

Over the next few weeks, AARP will be reviewing the details revealed in the budget address. AARP will pay particular attention to the Senior Property Tax Freeze, cuts to nursing home funding, and changes to delivery in Medicaid. Several of the governor’s proposed Medicaid reforms require close analysis, such as moving aged, blind and disabled beneficiaries into managed care, and slightly reducing nursing home payments. AARP will closely monitor these funding level adjustments to ensure that any programmatic changes do not adversely affect beneficiaries.

AARP New Jersey is working to improve the quality of life for older Americans living in the Garden State; look out for further communication, updates and to learn how you can take action!

Please call Governor Christie at (609)292-6000 and thank him for protecting New Jerseyans in PAAD and Senior Gold.

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