News Article

Christie Vetoes Heath Exchange Bill

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. December 6, 2012

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Assemblyman Herb Conaway (photo by Phil Gregory)

Governor Christie has vetoed legislation that would have established a state-run health insurance exchange.

Health exchanges are marketplaces where uninsured residents can shop for health care coverage.

In his veto message Christie said it would be fiscally irresponsible to commit to a state exchange without information from the federal government on the best way to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

Assemblyman Herb Conaway was one of the primary sponsors of the state exchange bill.

 “We are going to have an exchange. The question for me is whether or not the exchange will be one that will run in concert with the market conditions here, with the needs here of New Jersey. Perhaps we will see a situation where the people of our state are shortchanged.”

Jeff Brown with New Jersey Citizen Action is disappointed by Christie’s veto.

 “Our state has always been a leader in health reform. Some of the things in the Affordable Care Act are modeled on reforms that happened in New Jersey as far back as the 90’s. By not moving forward and controlling our own destiny, we’re really ceding that leadership role and leaving it up to the federal government as to how our exchange is run.”

Advocates say the state exchange would have given New Jersey more control in expanding access to affordable private insurance to 400-thousand residents.

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