TRENTON (March 3, 2017): In response to a proposal made by Governor Christie during his Budget Address this week that Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey begin to annually contribute to a charity fund to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, the following statement may be attributed to National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) New Jersey State Director, Laurie Ehlbeck:
The small business community ardently opposes mandates being placed on the private sector by lawmakers, and this proposal is no exception. Our members are already strapped with not only overwhelming healthcare costs but exorbitant taxes thanks to the pension obligation of administrations past. More than half of the state’s insured population could be impacted by hikes to premiums that would be a direct result of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield being forced to deplete the reserves they are legally obligated to maintain.
Our members want nothing more than to see the state achieve economic success through strong leadership at the legislative level. Forcing a private company to contribute to a fund, regardless of how well intentioned that fund may be, is a gimmick designed to avoid making the difficult choices that Trenton has been avoiding for decades. We already know from the past that fiscal shell games and band-aid solutions do nothing but delay the inevitable.