Standing Up For Women’s Health…Again And The War On Women!

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Scewne from "Bedbugs" the musical

New Jersey Senator Loretta Weinbergcommentary.

Today [Monday], with the cooperation of Senate President Steve Sweeney, we get another chance to stand up and fight to restore access to health care for New Jersey underserved women. With the announcement of unanticipated “new revenues” of somewhere between five and nine hundred million dollars, it is time to see if our “fiscally conservative – I’m just worrying about how we spend our money” Governor will go along with just $7.5 million restored for women. Oh and don’t forget that much of that “new” money comes from those Wall Street bonuses given to all of those NJ millionaires who didn’t move.

Yes, I did telephone Mr. Christie on (radio station) 101.5 Thursday. After all, it was called “Ask the Governor”. And they knew exactly who the telephone caller was that they were putting through. I did begin by (playing on a theme Eric Scott spoke about earlier in the show): “This is Senator Loretta Weinberg and I hope to find a kinder, gentler Governor on this show.” Got an immediate ‘snarky’ response from him that went something like “with you, you never know!”.

So much for how the Gov really feels. His long answer, repeated by Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., during a New Jersey Network “On The Record” segment yesterday, was they can go to Federally Qualified Health Care Centers …. or… (now don’t miss a word) to the hospital emergeny rooms we have all over the State.

This is the new “Let Them Eat Cake” of the 21st century!

No matter how many times, we (and the leadership of the FQHCs) tell them these centers are stressed to the max with lowered reimbursements and longer waiting lists, these men seem to think if they repeat it often enough, it becomes fact. And sending women to emergeny rooms for birth control, mammograms or other screenings, is good and economical health care? How do we even answer that bizarre idea? It’s all part of the national right wing War on Women, and until we get equal access for all our mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, and aunts to good health care, I will keep saying it. It’s so clear that the national Republican Party is held hostage to its very right wing.

Even Newt Gingrich got caught in the trap when he came up with the “revolutionary idea” that maybe we can’t just end medicaire. And of course, we in blue New Jersey, now have (read are saddled with) a Governor with national ambitions! You know the rest of the drill! We’ve seen it with global warming, creationism and women’s right to choose. How cynical.

All this coming from the “You’ll always know where I stand” Governor Chris Christie. What is going in our state? We have an executive who wants to the close out enrolling new parents to the Family Care insurance program, reduce qualifications for medicaid to a family of three earning no more than $103 per week, while there was the announcement from advocates that NJ is the fourth most expensive rental housing market in the nation. A family of four must earn at least $51,000 per year to afford a modest two bedroom apartment in New Jersey. We must do better than this.

It has to start with all of us confronting the Governor on issues and looking forward to replacing him in two years. Keeping the Democrats in control of the State Legislature is important! This past Friday evening I traveled to Sparta to a Sussex County Democratic fundraiser in honor of Senate candidate (and my good friend) Ed Selby and his two Assembly running mates, Joe Nye and Leslie Huhn. A terrific and hardworking trio feted by a nice turnout of great democrats. I know it’s a tough uphill battle, but seeing good, articulate and willing folks like these should give us all hope for our collective future.

So tune in to the Senate session today. Let’s watch how some of our good main stream Republican colleagues vote. Come on friends, vote your consciences on this one! Keep your voices heard!

 

New Jersey Senator Loretta Weinbergcommentary.

Today [Monday], with the cooperation of Senate President Steve Sweeney, we get another chance to stand up and fight to restore access to health care for New Jersey underserved women. With the announcement of unanticipated “new revenues” of somewhere between five and nine hundred million dollars, it is time to see if our “fiscally conservative – I’m just worrying about how we spend our money” Governor will go along with just $7.5 million restored for women. Oh and don’t forget that much of that “new” money comes from those Wall Street bonuses given to all of those NJ millionaires who didn’t move.