Christie Todd Whitman on Health Care

Former Director of the E.P.A (Pres. Bush Cabinet); Former Republican Governor (NJ)


New diesel pollution control protects public health

The EPA will move forward with its rule to make heavy-duty trucks and buses run cleaner. EPA will require a 97% reduction in the sulfur content of highway diesel fuel from its current level of 500 parts per million to 15 parts per million. Whitman said, “This action [should] not be delayed, in order to protect public health and the environment.”

Once this action is fully implemented, 2.6 million tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced each year. Soot or particulate matter will be reduced by 110,000 tons a year. An estimated 8,300 premature deaths, 5,500 cases of chronic bronchitis and 17,600 cases of acute bronchitis in children will also be prevented annually. It is also estimated to help avoid more than 360,000 asthma attacks and 386,000 cases of respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children every year. In addition, 1.5 million lost work days, 7,100 hospital visits and 2,400 emergency room visits for asthma will be prevented.

Source: Bush Cabinet: Press Release, “Diesel-Sulfur Fuel” , Feb 28, 2001

Require insurance companies to pay for 48-hour maternity

48-Hours - Signed legislation to require insurance companies to pay for at least 48-hour maternity hospital stays for new mothers.

Senior Services - Created the Department of Health and Senior Services, providing New Jersey’s seniors with a single point of entry to obtain services and information about available programs.

Source: NJ Governor’s web site, “By the Numbers” , Dec 25, 2000

Use tobacco funds to increase number of insured adults

Let’s use $100 million in tobacco funds to address uninsured adults. By establishing a program I call New Jersey FamilyCare, we can help 125,000 low-income adults obtain health insurance. We’re already insuring more than 55,000 children through New Jersey KidCare. Our new program will provide subsidized insurance adults who can least afford it. FamilyCare coverage would include preventive services, doctors’ visits, prescription drugs, and mental health services.
Source: Speech on FY2001 Budget to NJ Legislature , Jan 24, 2000

Protect state tobacco settlement funds from federal seizure.

Whitman adopted a letter to Congressional leaders from 53 Governors:

As you know, preserving and protecting the state tobacco settlement funds is the nation’s Governors’ highest priority. We strongly urge you to reach final agreement and pass the conference report on the emergency supplemental appropriations bill soon, and to retain the Senate provision that protects our settlement funds from federal seizure.

Many of our state legislatures are currently in session, and some have already completed work on their budgets. Therefore, it is critical that conferees reach agreement quickly on this issue. Governors are unified in their commitment to ensuring that the funds remain in the states and that there be no restrictions on states’ ability to tailor spending to meet the needs of their citizens.

We offer our strongest support for conferees to recede to the Senate version of the bill containing the Hutchison/Graham bipartisan tobacco recoupment protection legislation.

Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 99-NGA31 on Apr 14, 1999

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Page last updated: Mar 13, 2021