TRENTON – Gov. Christie has vetoed the state Health Care Exchange Act bill that stems from the national Affordable Care Act, a source said.
Christie, despite pleas earlier this week from Exchange advocates that the bill is needed to provide coverage for the underinsured residents of New Jersey as well as make it easier for small-employers to provide benefits, struck down the bill.
“I am concerned that a hastily created exchange in New Jersey will impose unnecessary obligations upon the State’s taxpayers,” Governor Christie said. “The very constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is cloaked in uncertainty, as both the individual mandate to procure health insurance as well as the jurisdictional mandate to establish an exchange may not survive scrutiny by the Supreme Court.”
One of the bill’s provisions is that it would have made New Jersey one of only two states with such exchanges who would have paid the members who sat on the board. They would have received $50,000 a year.
Sponsor Herb Conaway, (D-7), Delanco, who is a physician, had defended the payments as necessary since the board members would have been prevented from working in the insurance fields for some time after leaving.
Christie disagreed citing the salaries and the make up of the board among the reasons for the veto.