Stateline.org, June 21, 2011
New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie wants to cut $540 million from the state?s Medicaid program by moving more people into managed care and restricting coverage of adults. Under his proposal, released last week, a parent of two children with an income exceeding $5,300 a year would be denied participation, a drastic reduction from the current income ceiling of $24,600. Children in these families would still be covered. To make the changes, Christie would need a waiver from the federal government, because the federal Affordable Care Act generally prohibits states from cutting Medicaid enrollment before 2014, when the program is scheduled for expansion to some 16 million more people. Christie, like GOP Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona earlier this year, plans to ask the federal government for permission to change the rules Both New Jersey and Arizona currently have Medicaid programs that are more generous in their coverage of adults than most states.