There were a lot of people in at the League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City willing to talk about business and politics Wednesday — especially if it was without attribution, considering the nature of the subjects. Grapevine allowed them that vehicle.
Out of network
There is frustration among the health care provider community that in the debate of out of network, there isn’t a demand for fairer across-the-board rates and attention to coverage loopholes which leave patients vulnerable to high costs.
“We are waiting for out of network to get resolved first. Once it’s resolved, there are other things that can get attention, and can create better relationships for in-network providers.”
There were a few raised eyebrows for the party hosted Wednesday by the New Jersey Hospital Association, a first for the organization. In line with other firsts, attendees of the NJLM conference said it showed a shift in focus of issues in the state.
“There are so many issues now so I think they want to be front and center.” Said another source. “With the property tax issue, this seems like a good way to get the elected officials of the towns in the same place as the hospitals. Maybe nothing gets resolved overnight, but it’s a start.”
Presidential election and health care
Will there be — and should there be — changes to the ACA. It’s still to early to say, one insider said.
“So many more people in New Jersey are insured, I think we are down to the 9 percent range, but that means they are all showing up to the hospital insured. I think all of the charity are has gone down significantly. We had (prior to the ACA) coverage up to 31 (for children on their parents’ plan) forget 26, we had all the good stuff. Almost everyone was in one of the essential benefits plans, the only reason they were as cheap as they were was because they were based on gender, so a 29 year-old guy was cheaper than a 31 year-old woman because the woman can get pregnant. So we had an uninsured rate of 20 percent before the mandate. They also haven’t made any comments on the Medicaid expansion, so we don’t know what that’s going to look like.”
Question of the day: What does New Jersey need to do to grow business?
Response No. 1: “Regulation is one thing they talk about constantly. We don’t do a good job, when the regulations come, of looking at the impact on small businesses.”
Response No. 2: “New Jersey needs to make sure they have a governor who is willing to go around and listen to what the needs are of the various niche industries. Whether it’s the pharmacies, the lottery issue and how many people it affects, prison re-entry issues. In New Jersey we need to focus on re-training people.”
Response No. 3: “Streamline the business approval process. It takes too long now.”
Response No. 4: “Lower business tax and lower personal income tax. That will help.”
Response No. 5: “Elect Phil Murphy.”
Andrew George, Anjalee Khemlani and Tom Bergeron contributed to this report from Atlantic City.