NJ Gov. Christie Rejects Obamacare Exchange -- for Now
On Thursday, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would set up a state-based health insurance exchange under Obamacare in his state. Committing to such a program without knowing the financial costs to the state would be “fiscally irresponsible.” Christie, did leave himself some wiggle room to potentially adopt a state-based exchange program upon getting more information from the federal government.
However, Christie said New Jersey will “comply with the Affordable Care Act,” and the state would only do so “in the most efficient and cost effective way for New Jersey taxpayers.”
"I will not ask New Jerseyans to commit today to a state-based exchange when the federal government cannot tell us what it will cost, how that cost compares to other options, and how much control they will give the states over this option that comes at the cost of our state’s taxpayers,” Christie said. “Such an important decision as how to best move forward for New Jerseyans can only be understood and reasonably made when fairly and fully compared to the overall value of the other options.”
The Governor noted New Jersey lacks “critical information from the federal government,” and “any other action than this would be fiscally irresponsible.”
“Financing the building and implementation of a State-based Exchange would be an extraordinarily costly endeavor,” Christie said. “While the federal governmental has enabled states to apply for grant funding to cover some of the initial costs of such an endeavor, the total price for such a program has never been quantified, and is likely to be onerous.”
Christie said “without knowing the full scope of which Exchange option would be most beneficial and cost efficient for New Jerseyans, it would be irresponsible to force such a bill on our citizens.”