U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr (D-NJ), a House Ways and Means Committee member who worked to get landmark healthcare reform passed, blasted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's veto of the initiative to set up the state's health insurance exchange. The exchange was a key component of complying with the Affordable Care Act and provides access to quality, affordable health care for New Jersey residents.
"Governor Christie his Tea Party friends must be exposed for risking the health care of New Jerseyans for political benefit. I fought the Tea Party to help get landmark health care reform passed, and I will keep fighting the governor and anyone else who stands in the way of Americans finally getting access to quality, more affordable health care," said Pascrell. "The governor is also giving up a potentially huge federal grant to set up the insurance exchange. Tack that onto the federal dollars we had to pay back after the ARC tunnel and the missed opportunity of Race To The Top."
In February, New Jersey was awarded a $7.7 million level one grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the state to start planning the health insurance exchange. Two months earlier, Rhode Island became the first state to received a level two grant of nearly $60 million to help fund exchange operations.