(27th LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) – Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey on Tuesday said Republican opposition to vital women’s health care shows a blatant disregard for sound public policy that threatens to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the months ahead.
Jasey (D-Essex) said she was especially disappointed to see Republican senators who previously supported the legislation (S-2139/A-3019) to provide $7.5 million for women’s health care announce on Tuesday that they will oppose any bid to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto.
“I’ve seen many hot New Jersey summers, but I’ve never seen as many flip-flops as I just saw by the Republicans,” Jasey said. “It’s appalling and these legislators should be ashamed of themselves. I hope they enjoy their summer with their taxpayer-funded health care that they can use to detect and treat illnesses and stay healthy, because thousands of women will be denied access to vital health services as a result of this veto.”
Jasey noted the veto will, for example, hurt four health centers in Essex County – two in Newark, and one each in East Orange and Montclair – and hurt women and men from the 27th Legislative District who made 13,197 visits to those centers last year.
Jasey noted more than 136,000 patients were served by family planning and women’s health centers in New Jersey last year, saving the state more than $150 million.
Women’s health care facilities provide family planning services, routine gynecological exams, screening for high blood pressure, anemia and diabetes, breast and cervical cancer screening and education; screening and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV testing and counseling, pre-pregnancy counseling and education; pregnancy testing and prenatal care.
“The governor’s elimination of state funding for women’s health care will result in a loss of federal matching funds.” Jasey said. “Federally Qualified Health Centers and emergency rooms do not have the capacity to provide the services that are being eliminated. This will also deny a medical home and/or primary care provider to working, uninsured and underinsured women and men. It makes absolutely no sense, and is something no one should want to see.”
Jasey called on all legislators to show their independence, do the right thing and support overriding the governor’s veto.
“The sponsors of this legislation identified the funding to keep these vital services available, and Republicans could certainly could do the same here if they truly felt this was an important issue,” Jasey said. “The governor turned his back on hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans despite his promises to make health care a top priority. I ask my colleagues in the Legislature who either voted against this bill or abstained on it to reconsider and restore this funding.”