Gov. Christie: The CMS Waiver’s Would Not Have Been Made Possible Without Administrator Verma


Governor Christie: The President has made this a priority but would not have happened without Seema deciding to step up and really push the folks at CMS to get this waiver done. New Jersey is one of the first states to get it. I can promise her we will utilize it, and we'll utilize it in a way that’s responsible, making sure that organizations that are funded are effective, holding them accountable for the results that they produce for their clients and also for the taxpayers, both at the federal and state level who are helping to fund this treatment. I think if we do that together in a way that insures accountability and better results that people will look back on her decision to grant this waiver is one that saved lives in the state. I can’t thank Administrator Verma enough for her partnership with us on this issue, and her leadership in the federal government on bringing innovation and new ideas to dealing with the epidemic that we’re going through across this country that last year cost us 64,000 American lives. So, Administrator Verma, welcome to New Jersey, thank you.


Administrator Seema Verma: Thank you, good morning, and thank you to Governor Christie for hosting today. I appreciate just the tour and everything, so thank you. I think every day we’re hearing about the opioid epidemic, people dying, how much money it’s costing the system. I’m actually a mother of two kids and this is a personal issue for me. My daughter is a senior in high school now but when she was in eighth grade, we attended a funeral for a classmate in her class, it was her older brother. And I will never forget that funeral. Listening to a 13-year-old girl talk about her brother and how angry she was at her brother for getting involved in drugs and the pain that she showed in terms of the devastation that she will never see her brother again. And that is something that has always stayed with me. As a mom there are many things you’re concerned about. You know, there’s broken bones and grades and all kinds of things. But this is something that really concerns me as a parent. And this is actually going to increase treatment, not only in New Jersey but hopefully the rest of the nation. It’s actually going to allow people that are on Medicaid to access new treatment services, and we hope that facilities will actually build more services and increase their beds available for folks on Medicaid. Again, it's a pleasure to be here today. I really appreciate the hospitality from the folks at New Jersey and again, just can’t say enough about the Governor’s leadership on this issue, and you know, again, we met with a lot of folks today that are dealing with addiction and there’s just a lot of great role models here. So appreciate everybody’s work on the front lines.

Press Contact:
Brian Murray

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