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Weinberg Statement On Passage Of Dem-Sponsored Budget

Spending Plan Restores Health Care Funding

TRENTON – State Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, the Chairwoman of the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, issued the following statement today regarding the Senate approval of a spending plan which restores funding to women’s health and family planning programs and rejects draconian cuts to Medicaid and FamilyCare proposed by Governor Chris Christie:

“In Chris Christie’s ‘new normal,’ shared sacrifice means that New Jerseyans in greatest need pay the most. The Governor’s proposed budget would have slashed funding for health care access, forcing the uninsured to forego preventive health care and only seek health care at the emergency room when their symptoms become too great to ignore.

“What makes the Governor’s proposed cuts even more painful is that so much federal aid depends on New Jersey putting forward matching State aid. The end result is a double-whammy for the uninsured and working poor New Jersey residents who depend on the State’s safety net programs to stay healthy.

“If the Governor had his way, basic health care services would only be available to those lucky New Jerseyans who have health insurance through their employer, or can afford the high cost of health care on their own.

“Thankfully, Governor Christie doesn’t rule over a monarchy – as much as he might sometimes think otherwise.

“Legislative Democrats, exercising their authority as an equal and independent branch of government, have put forward a responsible, balanced spending plan that strikes a blow for our State’s shared priorities.

“The Democratic plan preserves funding for the safety net programs, and protects the working poor from having to make the tough choices of giving up health care to afford other basic living necessities.

“The Democratic budget is a thoughtful and compassionate proposal which ensures that we don’t balance the State’s finances on the backs of those who can least afford it. I urge the Governor to take a serious look at the bill before him, and take a stand with Legislative Democrats for the New Jersey residents who need our help.”