New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and State Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald have been sued today in Federal Court by parents and medical care providers over the closure of a children’s health care provider in the state. Mercer County Children’s Medical Day Care Center, a licensed pediatric Medical Day Center in New Jersey, together with the parents of patients at the Center filed a compliant today the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey after a series of recently passed limitations new regulations caused it to close it’s doors.
Mercer Medical Daycare filed a lawsuit this week against Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, New Jersey State Comptroller Mark Anderson, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, the New Jersey Department of Health, as well as government officials and agencies that Mercer Medical Daycare claims infringed on their constitutional rights.
The complaint, filed by the law firm of Nesenoff & Miltenberg, LLP, claims that the State of New Jersey violated federal law and sought to punish the Mercer Medical Daycare in retaliation for objecting changes to the State’s regulations. The Complaint alleges that the State’s actions forced Mercer Medical Daycare to shut its doors, leaving their pediatric patients without medical services. The Center provides services to low income families.
“We are deeply troubled by the lack of Gov. Christie’s commitment to the children of the State of New Jersey – out of the public eyes, and beyond the photo opportunities, he has allowed Medicaid funds that were supposed to be used in support of Mercer Medical Daycare, to be manipulated by none other than State Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, for Greenwald’s own gain,” said Attorney Andrew Miltenberg.
The attorneys in the case as well as the plaintiffs contend that Governor Christie and Assemblyman Louis Greenwald are unresponsive to the needs of minority communities in New Jersey. The state recently passed a law changing some of its Medicaid structure. The law (S-2443/A-3636) creates the Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Demonstration Project. Under the program, nonprofit groups can apply to provide healthcare to Medicaid fee-for-service recipients residing in an area with more than 5,000 Medicaid recipients.
The state also agreed to Medicaid expansion as proposed under federal health care reform legislation, although the Governor remains an outspoken opponent of the law overall. Christie said New Jersey will save $227 million in 2014. Federal funding will cover the cost of this expansion entirely for the first three years and then cover 90% following that until 2022.
The case is Mercer County Childrens Medical Court Daycare, LLC et al v. O’Dowd et all 3:13-cv-01436-AET-DEA