Sequester will affect N.J. services, Budget Comm. told

TRENTON – Various nonprofit and social service officials told the Assembly Budget Committee today that the federal sequestration is bound to impact state services.

Some 3,000 people who would have gotten shots for various infections may now not be able to because of the federal cuts, according to the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation.  

Betsy Ryan of the New Jersey Hospital Association said the state’s hospitals and expected to lose some $70 million.

Also, the relatively low federal health reimbursement rates for Medicaid means one center, Cheshire Home, may have to shut down its operations. Stuart Milsten, vice chairman of the board of trustees, said the center is $400,000 in the red. 

Because Cheshire may be shut, Miltsten said, its geriatric patients will most like have to be picked by the state, which will increase the state’s cost.

Ann Vardeman of New Jersey Citizen Action said that New Jersey, by not having its own health care exchange in place, affects the amount of money the state would receive for outreach programs on the Affordable Health Care Act.

One woman, Joan Migton, called on the Budget Committee to insert more money to build group homes for developmentally disabled residents in order to properly accommodate the transition from institutions to community settings.

The Budget Committee held a daylong session taking testimony from dozens of witnesses, mostly involved with heatlh care programs.

Sequester will affect N.J. services, Budget Comm. told