TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie vetoed legislation establishing a state-run health insurance exchange on Thursday, blaming the federal government for failing to provide the answers he said he needs to make a fiscally sound decision on the best way to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
The governor said he has not eliminated any of the options available to states to comply with the national health care overhaul. But, he said it would be irresponsible to choose one over the others without knowing the costs of each.
“New Jersey and all other states still await substantial federal guidance on the functioning of all three types of exchanges,” Christie said in his veto message. “To be sure, the decision of whether to move forward with a state-based exchange can only be fully understood when competitively compared to the overall value of the other options.”
States have until Dec. 14 to decide whether to establish a state-based exchange. They have more time to decide whether to partner with the federal government or let the feds run the state exchange.
Health insurance exchanges are online marketplaces where uninsured residents can shop for health care coverage.
Christie, who was in Washington on Thursday to lobby for Superstorm Sandy aid, issued the veto through his communications office.
Assemblyman Herb Conaway, a Democrat and the Legislature’s only practicing physician, was among the measure’s sponsors. He said the governor could have helped families obtain more affordable health care than is now available by signing the bill.