A report in the New York Post is highlighting a 2003 veto that Mitt Romney cast while he was governor of Massachusetts for denying $600,000 in additional funds for poor Jewish nursing-home residents to receive kosher meals.
The New York Post reports that Romney prevented the funding of $5 per day because he thought it would “unnecessarily” lead to an “increased rate for nursing facilities."
At the time of the veto, State Rep. Ruth Balser, a Democrat from Newton, Mass. told the Jewish Advocate that while Romney was advocating for saving money, he was “depriving people of essential services.”
A Romney campaign spokesman defended Romney’s 2003 decision, indicating that Massachusetts was in the thick of a financial crisis and the veto was needed to redirect higher reimbursement rates for Medicaid.
Eventually, the Massachusetts State Legislature approved an amendment to restore the funding for the Jewish nursing home facilities.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, an Orthodox Jew, Democrat and supporter of Romney rival Newt Gingrich, told the New York Post that Romney’s veto was “insensitive” and that the decision by Romney was “disappointing and quite shocking.”
Gingrich is nine points behind Romney in recent Florida polls heading into Tuesday’s primary.
Will Romney opponents try to make hay of the story in a state loaded with elderly Jewish voters?