Democratic Assembly candidates Darcy Draeger and Lisa Bhimani called on legislators to enact insurance protections similar to those in existence under the Affordable Care Act.
“I lost my sister to a healthcare emergency after she had been kicked off her plan for becoming pregnant — a pre-existing condition at the time. We can’t let that happen in our state again,” said Draeger. “This isn’t about politics. It’s about doing what’s right for the people of New Jersey.”
The two candidates, who face Assemblyman Anthony Bucco and Denville Councilman Brian Bergen in the general election, took aim at the incumbent legislator for his record on healthcare, levelling an attack against Bucco through their campaign manager.
“Over the last six years Bucco has received more than $22,000 from pharmaceutical and health insurance companies. That’s why it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that he’s consistently voted against expanding access to insurance and lowering healthcare costs,” said Daniel Fleiss, Bhimani and Draeger Campaign Manager. “Bucco and his team are what’s wrong with politics today — typical politicians who put special interests ahead of the needs of hard-working New Jersey families.”
There’s little to suggest that Bucco has voted against lowering healthcare costs, but the assemblyman did vote against bills that would cap insurance rates and establish regulations for out-of-network billing in 2018.
Currently, a number of bills that would establish protections sought by Bhimani and Draeger—including protections for pre-existing conditions, the creation of a state-based insurance exchange and a provision allowing individuals to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 — are working their way through the legislature.
“Soaring healthcare premiums and prescription drug costs are major contributors to the affordability crisis that’s plaguing our state,” said Bhimani. “As a doctor, I’ve seen first-hand how important it is to protect coverage for those living with pre-existing conditions. No family should have to choose between getting the care they need and putting food on the table, that’s why New Jersey needs to take the lead and defend these essential healthcare protections.”