Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), senior Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee and a principal author of the Affordable Care Act, released the following statement today in reaction to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's veto of a bill to create a health care exchange in the state. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by President Obama in 2010, requires states to create health care exchanges, developing a marketplace for individuals and small businesses to find and compare affordable, quality insurance options by 2014.
"I am disappointed with Governor Christie's decision to veto a bill creating the statewide health care exchange required by the ACA. Under the law, the establishment of the exchanges will provide options for consumers and small businesses that best meet their needs and provide government help to defray expenses for those who are eligible.
"The exchanges are a critical part of the ACA and are required, by law, to be fully operational by January 1, 2014. Governor Christie's veto of the bill passed by the New Jersey State Legislature is based on faulty hypothetical scenarios and will delay New Jersey's ability to adequately put in place this critical function of the health care law.
"The ACA is the law of the land. New Jersey received nearly $9 million to plan and establish its health care exchange, giving the state the right to have an integral part in the development of the ACA. Each state and each governor has an obligation to comply with the law and the Governor's veto creates unnecessary and counterproductive hurdles and delays for New Jersey residents to be able to take advantage of improved and more affordable health care options."