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Weinberg To Dhss Commissioner: As Women And Public Servants, Expanding Medicaid Services For Women’s Health Care Must Be A Matter Of Importance

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg, which would help reinstate nearly $7.5 million in the FY 2011 budget to be used to provide family planning services for Medicaid recipients, has been introduced in the Senate. In a letter addressed to Department of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Poonam Alaigh, Senator Weinberg stressed the importance of securing this funding for the women of New Jersey.

“By increasing Medicaid’s ability to offer these services, we would be working to help protect the health and well being of some of the State’s neediest residents,” wrote Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “This is something we absolutely must do to help protect the women of New Jersey. The segment of the population that would benefit from this funding is comprised of some of the hardest working, and most underpaid residents in this state. We cannot allow their needs to fall by the wayside.”

Senator Weinberg’s bill would call upon the State Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to submit the necessary application to the Federal government to help expand Medicaid’s coverage so that individuals with incomes of up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level can receive family planning services from Medicaid. Current law requires recipients to make no more than 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

By expanding Medicaid, New Jersey would receive $9 in federal aid for every $1 spent in Medicaid funding.

“This is a matter of importance for all of New Jersey’s women, and as public servants, it must be a top priority for us as well. I hope I can count on your support in this matter,” Senator Weinberg wrote.

Senator Weinberg noted that the bill will be assigned to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, and she is looking forward to having it voted on by the full Senate before the end of the June session. #