N.J. Gov. Vetoes Bill Creating Health Insurance Exchange

Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who is often rumored as a possible running mate for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said the state should wait to see how the Supreme Court rules on the federal health law.

The New York Times: Christie Vetoes Health Insurance Exchange
In a swipe at President Obama's signature health care legislation, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey vetoed on Thursday an online marketplace that the Legislature created to help residents and small businesses buy health insurance (Zernike, 5/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Health Exchange Dismissed
With the 11th-hour veto, Mr. Christie, a Republican, waded into a polarized debate over the implementation of the national health-care law signed by the president in 2010. Mr. Christie has been a vigorous surrogate for Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee who has pledged to repeal the health-care law if he is elected. Health-insurance exchanges must be launched in all 50 states to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. In states that don't set up an exchange, the federal government will create one for them (Haddon, 5/10).

The Associated Press: NJ Gov Vetoes Obama-Related Health Exchange Bill
Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday vetoed legislation that would set up a state health insurance exchange as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, saying the state shouldn't rush to enact such a law and possibly create new burdens on taxpayers while the constitutionality of the federal act remains to be decided (5/11).

Politico: Christie Nixes New Jersey's Health Exchange Bill
Christie, who's in the national spotlight again as a potential running mate for Mitt Romney, vetoed the Legislature's bill that would have set up a health insurance exchange in the state. He called it the safe move, since the Supreme Court isn't expected to rule on the Affordable Care Act until the end of June. ... Christie's veto signifies the tough spot Republican governors are in — they don't like the health reform law, but if their states don't set up exchanges, the Obama administration says the feds will set one up by 2014, when the law’s fuller coverage expansions go into effect (Millman, 5/10).

Market Watch: N.J. Gov. Christie Vetoes Health-Exchange Measure
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday put the kibosh on his state's effort to create a health-insurance exchange as required under the Affordable Care Act, saying it should wait until the Supreme Court decides whether to uphold the landmark federal law. ... Christie, however, vowed to revisit the issue if the Affordable Care Act is upheld by the court (Britt, 5/10).

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Christie Vetoes Key Element Of Obamacare
Gov. Christie rejected a key provision of President Obama's health care plan on Thursday, becoming the second governor in the country to veto a bill that would have set up a state-run exchange to allow consumers to collectively shop for health insurance. The decision was immediately panned as political by Democrats but welcomed by tea party conservatives, who had expressed alarm in recent days that the Republican governor would allow "Christiecare" in New Jersey (Katz, 5/10).

Meanwhile, in nearby Connecticut legislators are embroiled in a controversy about the exchange board -

The Connecticut Mirror: Senate Casualty: Insurance Exchange Board Expansion
What killed a proposal to expand the board overseeing the state's health insurance exchange? Advocates for universal health care, who have been protesting at board meetings and lobbying for the addition of consumer and small business representatives to a board they said is tilted toward the insurance industry, blamed Senate Republicans ... Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, meanwhile, said, "Democrats didn't want to do the bill, and so we didn't do it" (Levin Becker, 5/10). 

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