Assembly passes Health Benefits Exchange bill

TRENTON – The Assembly released bill A3186, which would create a state Health Benefits Exchange.

The vote was 46-33, along party lines.

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill originally, saying it would be premature to pass such a measure before the presidential election.

Assemblyman David Rible (R-14) of Wall, asked Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) of Haddonfield, What the surcharges would be.

Conaway said he didn’t know because the regulations are not in place.

However, he said the rates would most likely be lower than they are now given that insurance companies will have more customers than they currently have.

Assemblywoman Alison McHose, (R-24), Franklin, said the bill was  akin “to putting the cart before the horse.”

“We don’t have the whole provision in place,” she said.  

She added that she is worried about the bidding process, saying it was not transparent enough.

Her attempt to table the bill was unsuccessful.

To see an interview with Conaway following the vote, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iswsDyG9g1s

Assembly passes Health Benefits Exchange bill