The Times, Trenton

Funding FamilyCare Will Help In Time Of Need

The Times of Trenton — Sunday, July 12, 2009

Letters to the Editor

In a tough economic climate, it can be especially hard to balance the state budget. The fiscal responsibility is to meet the moral obligation of helping people access needed health care through public insurance programs. Keeping people in a program that provides quality preventive care is a sound investment in New Jersey's future.

The governor announced on June 29 that he would not enact the proposed $9 million cut to NJ FamilyCare. This cut would have closed enrollment for 17,000 low-income parents between 150 percent and 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). This excellent news is a direct result of hard work performed by a coalition of advocacy organizations, including AARP New Jersey and New Jersey Citizen Action. Not only did the coalition stop the proposed cutback to FamilyCare, but the program has been improved with the elimination of premiums for all children below 200 percent FPL.

There are many lawmakers who deserve our thanks. First of all, AARP thanks the governor. We also thank Sen. Joseph Vitale, D-Woodbridge, for his strong and outspoken support, and Sen. Barbara Buono, D-Edison, and Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, D-Voorhees, who helped make this possible.

— SY LARSON, East Brunswick

The writer is AARP New Jersey state president.

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