December 23, 2010 — The New Jersey Senate on Monday voted 26-12 to pass a bill (A3273) that aims to expand access to subsidized family planning services for uninsured women, the Woodland Park Record reports. The funding would help provide cervical cancer screenings, contraceptives and other family planning care to women who have incomes of up 200% of the federal poverty level and normally would not qualify for the state's Medicaid program.
If signed by Gov. Chris Christie (R), the bill would authorize $1.1 million in state funds in an attempt to secure a $15.1 million matching contribution from CMS. Christie vetoed an earlier version of the measure, saying he refused to spend money not included in the state's budget.
State Sen. Jennifer Beck, one of two Republicans who supported the bill, said the new bill has a better chance of gaining Christie's approval because the state would not have to spend any money until July 2012. Beck said supporting the bill is "a fiscally prudent step" because providing access to family planning services through Medicaid is significantly more cost effective than paying for prenatal care or abortions (Livio, Woodland Park Record, 12/22).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership