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Vitale Statement On Approval Of Democratic Budget

Says Funding Health Care Safety Net Programs is Moral, Responsible Choice

TRENTON – Senator Joseph F. Vitale, D-Middlesex, the Vice Chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, issued the following statement today regarding Senate approval of a Democratic sponsored budget proposal designed to reverse drastic cuts to health care safety net programs that were proposed in Governor Christie’s FY 2012 Budget:

“The Democratic budget proposal represents an 11th hour reprieve for the thousands of New Jerseyans who would find themselves unable to access health care if Governor Christie’s FY 2012 Budget – and the associated comprehensive Medicaid waiver – were to go into effect unchecked.

“Funding safety net programs like Family Care and Medicaid is the moral, responsible choice, and will ensure better health care outcomes for New Jerseyans in need at a fraction of the cost of providing health care in an emergency room setting. This isn’t only about compassionate government spending – it also makes good fiscal sense.

“At a time when the federal government is working to ensure all Americans have access to health care, New Jersey shouldn’t be bucking the trend and cutting people from the rolls. However, under the Governor’s proposed budget, New Jersey families earning $103 a week for a family of three would be unable to qualify for subsidized health care.

“The message sent by the Governor’s proposed health care cuts is that the health and well-being of struggling New Jersey families doesn’t matter – that we can afford tax breaks for millionaires, but we cannot afford regular doctor’s check-ups for people at the other end of the economic spectrum.

“I’m proud that the Democratic budget document stands up for our State’s shared priorities, and I’m glad that we recognize that health care is a right deserved by all, not a privilege intended only for the economic elite.”