Daily Archives: May 23, 2011

>As a Matter Of Fact…State losing out on 9-1 match;NJ would save $45 million a year if it invested $7.5 million in family planning

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May 23rd, 2011 | Published in NJPP Blog: As a Matter of Fact …

At a time when New Jersey doesn’t have a penny to spare, the state is leaving money on the table – perhaps millions of dollars a year in federal funds that could provide family planning services to poor, uninsured women.

Not only has Governor Christie refused to continue the program that provides state grants to family planning clinics across the state (he vetoed a $7.5 million appropriation sponsored by Sen. Weinberg), the state has withdrawn its application for a Medicaid waiver that would have provided a 9-to-1 federal match of state funds that paid family planning expenses for women at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. To put it in simpler terms, under the waiver known as the Family Planning State Option the federal government would provide $9 million for every $1 million that New Jersey spent.

According to estimates from the widely-respected Guttmacher Institute, the Family Planning State Option would save New Jersey $3 million in the first year alone. After the first year, it would:

• Save the state $45 million every year.
• Provide basic medical care to over 80,000 people every year, including not just family planning but other preventive care such as cancer screenings.

• Help thousands of low income women who want to avoid pregnancy do just that – averting 4,000 abortions and 6,000 births every year.

See the full report here.

Twenty-eight states currently receive matching funds and all have seen substantial cost savings. According to estimates by the National Academy of Health Safety Policy, the savings over five years range from $75 million in Arkansas to more than $2 billion in California.

See the full report here.

The governor has said his opposition to the family planning clinic grants has nothing to do with politics, but is based in his desire to be a responsible fiscal steward of the state’s scarce resources.

He should live up to that standard.

Clearly, the numbers show the tremendous benefit that accrues by funding these grants. In addition to providing poor and working women broad and consistent access to family planning services, the Medicaid waiver allows the state to receive the 9-to-1 federal match in funding.

The fiscally responsible thing to do would be to invest a little of the state’s resources in family planning and reap the rewards of increased federal funding as well as cost savings to deal with avoidable pregnancies.

To do anything else seems to be a waste of time and money.

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Filed under As a Matter of Fact, blog, family planning, federal matching funds, Gov. Chris Christie, Medicaid, New Jersey Policy Perspective, women's health issues

>Don’t Say Gay, Say "Takei" Instead

>Last week, leading up to the Tennessee Legislature anticipated passage of Senate Bill 49 , better known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which will make it a crime for teachers to mention homosexuality in the classroom once signed into law, Star Trek alum George Takei (Mr. Sulu), is asking people to support gay right’s by not saying “gay”.

Instead, George asks that everyone say “Takei” whenever speaking or referring to G.L.B.T groups or individuals.
Towards the end of the video Takei hawks a line of T-shirts and other items that say “It’s OK to be Takei”, to wear and display with pride and to show Tennessee and the world that you’re against censorship and bigotry….

All the proceeds from the sales of these items will be donated to charity. Have a TAKEI old time!

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Filed under gay rights, George Takei, GLBT, homosexuality, It's OK to be Takei, Senate Bill 49, Tennessee

>New Robo Call From Concerned Citizens Of Middletown Received Over The Weekend

>A new robo call was issued over the weekend by the group calling themselves Concerned Citizens of Middletown. I received the call Friday when I check my messages on the answering machine.

This latest call talks about whether or not you fell stressed because you can’t make ends meet and have to live within a budget, something that the Middletown Township Committee has a hard time doing. The Township is currently $73 million in debt according to the message and will have to borrow more money to pay for tax appeals.

Listen to it and please comment, I am interested in seeing what readers think of this latest call that went out to residents. If you have a hard time hearing the audio (I tapped it off the answering machine), I transcribed the message below.

http://www.archive.org/flow/flowplayer.commercial-3.2.1.swf

Hello, I am a middletown resident, stressed like you, and needing to cut my budget.

Have you heard the Township Committee cannot live within its budget?

They raise taxes, then borrow more money to cover poor planning.

Our debt level, currently at 73 million will have at least an additional 6 million to cover the tax appeals from the last re-evaluation.

Can your budget survive this kind of borrowing? Mine can’t.

Paid for by Concerned Citizens of Middletown.

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Filed under Audio clips, bonding debt, borrowing, budgeting, Concerned Citizens of Middletown, poor planning, Robo-calls, stressed out