New Jersey health insurance exchange slammed with veto from Governor Christie
Plans for a New Jersey health insurance exchange are off the table due to a veto from Governor Chris Christie. The Governor has become the latest in a long line of state officials that have rebuked the concept of a health insurance exchange in their representative states. The recent veto marks the second time this year that Governor Christie has nixed legislation concerning the New Jersey health insurance exchange. The Governor claims that the federal health care law introduced in 2010 is not capable of enabling states to establish effective insurance marketplaces.
Lawmakers show favor for exchange program
The Affordable Care Act requires all states to host a working health insurance exchange system by 2014. States have the option to comply with the provision and run the exchange themselves, hand over the burden to the federal government, or partner with the federal government to build an exchange. New Jersey lawmakers have been eager for the state to build and operate its own health insurance exchange program. Lawmakers believed that the New Jersey health insurance exchange would have offered ideal coverage for consumers because the state would build it suitable to the needs of these people.
Governor cites lack of guidance as major factor in veto
Governor Christie argues that the Affordable Care Act does not allow states enough authority in designing health insurance marketplaces that meet the needs of specific residents. The Governor also claims that the federal government has not offered enough guidance regarding how a health insurance exchange should operate and what standards it must comply with to appease the Department of Health and Human Services. Lack of guidance is a common complaint among lawmakers that are concerned over the impact a health insurance exchange may have.
Federal government may take over exchange effort
The state has until December 14 to inform the Department of Health and Human Services of its plans concerning the New Jersey health insurance exchange. If New Jersey does not submit plans by this deadline, there is a chance the federal government will take over the initiative. Governor Christie is currently fighting legislation that would allow a state-run exchange to be built in New Jersey.