NJ governor looks to put much of Obamacare into state law

David Madden
May 31, 2019 - 2:02 pm
Doctor and patient.

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PATERSON, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — The Murphy administration has unveiled a 14-bill package aimed at ensuring efforts in Washington to gut the Affordable Care Act do not take hold in New Jersey.

There are concerns that federal court actions could do what Republicans in Congress couldn't: bring an end to Obamacare. So Gov. Phil Murphy attended a health care roundtable in Paterson to announce that the state will do what it can to keep 460,000 state residents covered.

"If in the awful result that the Trump Administration wins in court, we will have codified a lot of the protections that are currently in the Affordable Care Act here in New Jersey," the governor said.

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When the ACA was first adopted, New Jersey went into the federal exchange and paid the feds $50 million a year to do that. State Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride told the group that hasn’t worked out so well under President Trump.

"We're sending them money. We have a smaller open enrollment period. Less money for the outreach. Less money for our navigators," Caride said. "We have gone from having approximately five navigators throughout the state of New Jersey to last year only having one."

Murphy had announced earlier this year that the state would form its own health exchange, which would make it easier for more people to take part in the ACA. But that won’t take hold for another two years or so. The state-based exchange would be set up by one of the 14 bills to be introduced in the legislature.