U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today released the following statement following Governor Chris Christie's veto of legislation that would have begun to establish a State-based health care exchange in New Jersey in line with the federal Affordable Care Act:
"I am deeply disappointed that Governor Christie has vetoed the bill establishing a state-based exchange for New Jersey citizens. I hope that our Governor will not make a similar mistake when comes to the provision expanding Medicaid eligibility. New Jersey has already taken the commendable step of requesting a waiver through the Affordable Care Act to increase Medicaid coverage for uninsured, childless adults. New Jersey's waiver allows enrollment for childless adults who have incomes up to 23% of the federal poverty line in Medicaid and so far over 50,000 eligible residents have taken advantage of this opportunity.
"It would be a mistake for our state to back away from our proactive efforts to expand Medicaid access. The federal government could send over $11 billion to New Jersey by 2019 to pay for this expansion. New Jersey must take full advantage of these available federal matching funds that will provide health care access to hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans. The Affordable Care Act is about bringing affordable, quality health care to our citizens across the country and the residents of New Jersey deserve no less than to see it fully implemented in our state."