(Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Thursday he
vetoed a bill that would have created a health insurance exchange for
his state under President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare program.
whose announcement came on a day when he was visiting the White House
to discuss tens of billions in federal recovery aid after Superstorm
Sandy, joined 18 other states in rejecting a measure to create
state-based health insurance markets where consumers could purchase
private, federally subsidized coverage.
a Republican who has nurtured a reputation as a cost cutter, cited
uncertainty over what such an exchange would cost the state and over
what kind of flexibility New Jersey will have in managing it.
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 in a statement.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set a Dec. 14
deadline for states to decide whether they will participate in
state-based, federal or partnership exchange. Some 18 states have said
they will create their own state-based exchanges and another 18 plan to
default to a federal exchange, according to the Kaiser Family
This marks the second time this year
that Christie vetoed an attempt to create a state healthcare exchange.
He rejected a similar bill in May on the grounds that the healthcare
law, called the Affordable Care Act, might be unconstitutional, a view
the Supreme Court rebuffed when it ruled in favor of the law in June.
veto also comes as Christie pressed his case in closed door meetings
with Obama and House Speaker John Boehner for funds to finance
clean-up and rebuilding efforts following the storm.
Jersey and New York officials are seeking $80 billion, despite a media
report that the White House will request only $50 billion.