New Jersey Jewish News

Marking 45 Years Of Medicaid, Medicare

New Jersey Jewish News — Thursday, August 12, 2010

The State Association of Jewish Federations joined fellow members of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey to mark the 45th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid at a State House ceremony in Trenton Aug. 4.

"Medicaid is one of the largest budget items for most states and, certainly, the largest for the State Association's 12 Jewish federations in New Jersey and family of community and social service agencies," said State Association president Ruth Cole.

"The importance lies in the expanded services to the elderly, the disabled, and the vulnerable that our community provides with the assistance of Medicaid reimbursement and Medicare," added Cole.

State Association executive director Jacob Toporek advocated for the extension of enhanced federal Medicaid funding for states, especially for New Jersey, at the forum. "A decrease in Medicaid reimbursement to our state will have consequences for all nonprofit social service providers in New Jersey as we struggle to address a drastic falloff in the ability to raise funds and develop resources from among our own because of the national economic downturn," Toporek said.

Under President Obama's stimulus package, Medicaid reimbursement to New Jersey rose from a shared 50 to 65 percent; however, enhanced federal Medicaid funding will stop on Dec. 31. Nationally, Jewish Federations of North America and the NJ State Association are leading efforts seeking a six-month extension of the stimulus funding increase.

Said Toporek, "The loss of full Medicaid funding, which has already been included in the state's approved budget for this fiscal year, will mean that our state budget will come up short in anticipated revenues resulting in additional cuts and putting in danger programs that the federations provide for the needy."

Members of the Anti-Poverty Network at the event included the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry in NJ, the NJ Catholic Conference, the Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities, the NJ Policy Perspectives, the NJ Foundation for Aging, and the Association for Children of NJ.

Photo

Photo (Above): At the State House ceremony are, from left, Toporek; Burton Sutker, Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County; NJ Anti-Poverty Network cochairs Marlene Lao Collins and Rev. Bruce Davidson; Lowell Arye, Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities; Ray Castro of NJ Policy Perspective; Mllly Brown of East Windsor; Grace Egan, NJ Foundation for Aging; Marilyn Carpinteyro, NJ Citizen Action; and Peg Kinsel, Statewide Parent Advocacy Network.

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