>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

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 Weinberg), the state has withdrawn its application for a Medicaid waiver that would have provided a 9-to-1 federal match of state funds that paid family planning expenses for women at or below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.


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

4 responses to “>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

  1. >Just a reminder, Mike. Abortion is not healthcare. Regular middle class folks who bear the brunt of the financial mess we're in, shouldn't be expected to pay for them either. Reminds me of how the middle class parents whose kids can't get college assistance becasue their parents supposedly make too much money yet are stuck paying for all the poor peoples' kids to go to school.Some of those supposed poor people have money for booze, ciggies and take-out food. You pay for them!

  2. >Family planning isn't just abortion. Family planning includes screening for cancer (pap smears), STD prevention and treatment, birth control (to avoid unwanted pregnancy therefore obviate the need for abortion), and other womens health services. There are regular middle class folks that don't support the war in Iraq, yet their taxes go to that. I guess they are stuck paying for wars they don't support.

  3. >To anon, 5/23, 7:42:There is a law in place that disallows the use of public funds for abortion, so your tax dollars wouldn't be used for that. So now you can relax and support this vitally important funding.Providing support and social programs for our poorest citizens is a basic role of government. It is one of the reasons we pay taxes. And yes, it is taking from the rich and giving to the poor. The word for this is "transfer payments" and it's one of the markers of an advanced society. Welcome to it.

  4. >Anon May 23, 7:42 PM,Regular middle class folks kids receive a subsidized public education often paid for by those that do not have, nor never have had a child in the public school system. So, following your line of reasoning, does this part of the population get stuck paying for the booze, ciggies, take-out food, and flat screen TVs of the families who have one or more kids in the public school system?Whether-or-not abortion is health care is debatable, especially if the mother's life (health) is in danger. Your position is nothing more than a factually unsupported opinion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s