Lawmakers plan budget resolutions to combat Medicaid cuts

TRENTON – Three 20th District legislators said Tuesday they will introduce budget resolutions to prevent impending Medicaid cuts targeted to nursing homes in the fiscal year 2012 budget.

Sen. Raymond Lesniak, along with Assembly  Majority Leader Joe Cryan and Annette Quijano,  said in a joint statement that the $70 million in state aid cuts for reimbursements, aid to special nursing facilities, and other items would also lead to a $70 million loss in matching federal funds.

“New Jersey is facing a truly challenging financial dilemma right now,” Lesniak said in a release. “However, these cuts would have profoundly negative consequences for our state’s ill, disabled, and elderly nursing home residents and the dedicated nursing home employees. It is wrong to saddle these people with the burden of fixing the state’s fiscal problems.”

The legislators said that since 2005, there have been $425 million in cuts to Medicaid reimbursements, despite a nursing home provider tax levy that supplements the state treasury with $136 million each year. The 2012 cuts will place a variety of stresses on nursing homes throughout the state, forcing a decrease in nursing home admission rates, and cuts to staff pay and/or personnel, the lawmakers stated.

Some 88,000 nursing home workers and patients would be affected by the cut, they said.

Lawmakers plan budget resolutions to combat Medicaid cuts