N.J. Policy Perspective issued a statement Friday expressing disappointment in the Christie administration’s decision to allow the federal government to run the Health Care Exchange called for under the Affordable Care Act.
“It has decided that not only should the federal government have primary responsibility, the state should have no responsibility,” the NJPP reaction from senior policy analyst Raymond Castro states in part.
“This hands-off policy is a big change for a state that under both Democratic and Republican governors has been in the forefront in protecting consumers and providing affordable health coverage to uninsured children, families and people with disabilities.”
Castro said it wasn’t surprising because when Gov. Chris Christie chose not to have a state-run exchange in November, “he hinted that he was not likely to partner up with the federal government in its operation. No surprise, then, that the governor has chosen to let the federal government be totally in charge of the exchange. No surprise, but it is disappointing.”
Christie could have opted for a state/federal partnership, but decided to let the federal government operate the exchange.
“The decision puts New Jersey squarely behind the eight ball,” Castro said. “Optimally, a November decision to make the exchange work for New Jersey would have smoothed the way for accepting applications from hundreds of thousands of eligible Jerseyans on October 1.
“The state would already be working to ensure that all eligible residents were fully informed, that outreach was underway to first-timers unfamiliar with insurance procedures, and that it would all be coordinated with the state’s Medicaid operations.”