Medicaid waiver family-planning exclusion angers Weinberg, Sweeney

TRENTON – Earlier this month, opponents of the administration’s planned Medicaid waiver application were heartened when it was learned Gov. Christie had scrapped some controversial elements of the proposal.

But today Sen. President Steve Sweeney, (D-3), West Deptford, and Sen. Loretta Weinberg, (D-37), Teaneck, were angry upon learning the waiver application submitted this month excludes family planning language.

Weinberg, in particular, has been fighting for months to restore approximately $7.5 million that Christie cut from the budget that would have funded health care for roughly 131,000 women, children, and families.

“The governor’s need to appease those on the far right will prevent New Jersey from getting a 9-1 federal match on our commitment to women’s health and family planning centers,” the senators said in a joint release.

“These centers currently help thousands of women across the state and who knows how many more could have been helped if the governor’s cuts hadn’t already forced six centers to close.”

Republican Sen. Diane Allen had introduced, then withdrew, a bill this summer that would have restored more than $6 million for women’s health issues, stipulating no money could be used for abortions. Weinberg had said that under her proposal to restore $7.5 million no money would have funded abortions, either.

Previous coverage:

Medicaid waiver application discards planned income eligibility changes

  Medicaid waiver family-planning exclusion angers Weinberg, Sweeney