New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have begun implementation of a state-run health care exchange in compliance with President Obama’s healthcare law, his office announced Thursday. New Jersey now joins 18 other states that have declined to create exchanges, leaving the federal government to do it for them.
Quoted in the press release, Christie cited vagueness surrounding the exchanges for his decision not to create a state-based exchange: “Thus far, we lack such critical information from the federal government. 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.”
“Financing the building and implementation of a State-based Exchange would be an extraordinarily costly endeavor,” Christie continued. “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. 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.”
Christie was in Washington Thursday, where he met with President Obama to advocate for federal assistance for states recovering from Hurricane Sandy.