Christie touts N.J. health-care centers

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is defending his administration’s health-care spending priorities. He did so Monday while signing a proclamation recognizing national health center week.

Christie increased support for community health centers by more than $6 million in this year’s state budget.

He says those centers are the safety net for people who need to access health care.

“These places are essential for them, especially for those who are transitioning from difficult times to better times we hope, to not have to worry about their health being at risk during that transitional period,” Christie said.

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Republican Sen. Diane Allen concurred.

“We find that people who are not used to being served come here perhaps with a little trepidation at first. Then they find this is their medical home,” said Allen. “We’re able to keep people out of emergency rooms. We’re able to keep people healthier.”

Christie said he hopes to add more funds for the health centers in next year’s budget.

Democratic lawmakers are critical of the governor for eliminating state funding for women’s health care and family-planning services.

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