New Jersey rejects option to run insurance exchange

Gov. Chris Christie calls state-based exchange 'fiscally irresponsible'
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New Jersey is the latest state in a increasingly long line of Republican-led states to reject the option of running its own health insurance exchange.

Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have established a state-run exchange, saying the federal government hasn't provided enough information for the state to make an informed decision, reported NJBiz.

"I will not ask New Jerseyans to commit today to a state-based exchange when the federal government cannot tell us what it will cost, how that cost compares to our other options, and how much control they will give the states over this state-financed option," Christie said.

One such necessary piece of information Christie cited in his veto message is whether the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services will share with states money from user fees paid by insurers. Until HHS can provide clearer guidance, Christie said it would be "fiscally irresponsible" for New Jersey to implement a state-run exchange, according to Asbury Park Press.

Christie's veto comes about a week after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer chose not to implement a state-run exchange. So far, 20 states, all of which are led by Republican lawmakers, have announced that they won't operate exchanges, The Wall Street Journal reported.

States have until Dec. 16 to tell HHS whether they will operate their own exchange, default to the federal-run version or partner with HHS to implement a state-federal marketplace.

To learn more:
- read the NJBiz article
- see the Asbury Park Press article
- check out the Wall Street Journal article

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