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Christie Vetoes Creation of NJ Health Insurance Exchange

Christie Vetoes Creation of NJ Health Insurance Exchange

Post Date May 23, 2012 - US President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul the country’s health care system is having a hard time in New Jersey, this after the state’s governor, Chris Christie vetoed the legislation that will setup a health insurance exchange.

The Associated Press reported that the Republican governor believes that the state’s legislators should not rush in enacting such bill that can create additional burden on the taxpayers. Christie called his decision as a safe move for the Supreme Court had not yet decided with finality on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. However, the governor declared that if the court will uphold Obama’s overhaul, he will fully oversee the state’s compliance but in a cost effective and responsible manner. The Supreme Court is expected to have its decision on the said bill on June.

After the governor vetoed the legislation, he stated that a hastily created health insurance exchange will impose unwarranted obligations on the part of the state’s taxpayers. But even with this position, the governor’s administration is still working on the preparations if ever the proposed law will push through.  The nixed NJ health insurance bill would have created an online marketplace where people can purchase federally subsidized insurance in New Jersey that would start in 2014.

But Christie’s move on the said legislation had been viewed differently by some legislators. Assemblyman Herb Conaway, a medical doctor and a Democrat, and one of the sponsors of the bill Christie vetoed upon, had said that the governor did not thought on the well-being of the state but bowed down to national political pressures. Another Democrat, Representative Frank Pallone Jr., who had worked in the creation of the health care law viewed Christie’s move as unnecessary delay on New Jersey’s part of implementation.

The New Jersey governor is one most celebrated Republicans today and was even courted to be a presidential candidate, but had declared not to seek for their party’s nomination. The governor had given his support to Mitt Romney, who had earlier confirmed that if elected, he will repeal Obama’s health care law. Christie is still being considered as a potential vice presidential candidate for Romney.  Christie is now the second state governor that had vetoed a state legislation for the creation of such exchange. The first is New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, who vetoed for the bill that aims to create an insurance exchange in the said state due to supposed cost concerns and the legal battles concerning the federal law.

-Mike

Michael E. Dortch
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