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Sponsor of Women’s Health Care Funds Says It’s Time to Put Women’s Health Above Partisan Politics

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Cherry Hill) today stood with women’s health advocates, calling for the Legislature to override Governor Christie’s veto of lifesaving women’s health care funds. Lampitt is a prime sponsor of Assembly Bill 3019, which would restore $7.5 million in women’s health care funds.

“The Governor’s veto leaves thousands upon thousands of New Jersey women out in the cold,” said Lampitt. “Allowing this veto to stand will mean sicker families and increased costs to taxpayers. This is not a partisan issue; it is about saving women’s lives and taxpayer dollars.”

“I have heard many stories of women and children whose lives were literally saved through this funding, from cancer screenings, to tests for HIV/AIDS, to critical care for infants,” said Lampitt. “I urge my colleagues in the Legislature to put partisan politics aside and vote for these life-saving women’s health care funds.”

“Make no mistake, Governor Christie’s veto hurts New Jersey families,” said Lynn Brown, CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Jersey. “It means thousands of women will have to go without breast and cervical cancer screenings, tests for HIV/AIDS and other STI’s, family planning/GYN services, as well as dozens of other critical vital health services.”

Lampitt also disputed the Governor’s oft-cited fiscal rationale for his veto.

“Governor Christie’s veto is especially puzzling and shortsighted from a fiscal standpoint,” said Lampitt. “This funding would bring in $9 for each $1 New Jersey spends on women’s health care. From a numbers standpoint, women’s health care funding is a no-brainer.”

Lampitt also said funding women’s health care will reduce charity care costs to the state. Estimates suggest that funding for women’s health care in the previous year saved over $150 million–a return over twenty times larger than the state’s original investment.

“Last year, women’s health care clinics served over 136,000 patients and families,” said Brown. “Across New Jersey, women’s health care clinics deliver critically-needed services with incredible cost-efficiency. When the Governor says the state’s federally qualified centers will be able to make up the difference, he’s wrong. Let’s be clear: this veto will stretch many health care clinics and hospitals to the breaking point with an influx of new patients. The result will be catastrophic for women and families in New Jersey.”

A-3019, also sponsored by Assemblywomen Stender, Riley, Vanieri Huttle, Greenstein and Assemblyman Gusciora, would restore $7.5 million in women’s health care funds in a revenue-neutral way, according to the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services.

The state Senate is expected to hold an override vote on September 20th.