Chris Christie, GOP Governor of New Jersey, announced his support for expanding Medicaid under Health Reform. The ACA allows states to expand their Medicaid programs for incomes up to 138%FPL with 100% federal funding for those newly eligible for the first three years.The federal contribution then drops to 90% thereafter. After the June SCOTUS decision, the expansion became optional for states. However, federal regulations prohibit states from receiving full federal funding for partial expansions.
Christie is the eighth GOP Governor to announce participation in the expansion, joining others like Florida and Ohio. These Republican Governors have been known for their outright opposition to the law. In fact, Christie is quoted as saying, ” I am not a fan of the Affordable Care Act. I think it is wrong for New Jersey and for America. However, it is now the law of the land. I will make all of my judgements as governor based on what I believe is best for New Jersey.”
Nevertheless, Christie noted Medicaid expansion as “the smart thing to do for [the state’s] fiscal and public health” as it could save residents an estimated $227 million in the next fiscal year. The expansion will extend coverage to 300,000 uninsured New Jersey residents. The New Jersey Governor is also working with the Obama administration to create the insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses.
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