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New Jersey expanding Medicaid in 2014

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 11, 2013

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has joined the growing ranks of Republican governors who have decided to expand Medicaid starting in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.

States that expand Medicaid eligibility up to an effective rate of 138% of poverty will receive full federal assistance for the first three years of the expansion, phasing down to an enhanced federal matching rate of no less than 90% in subsequent years. In his fiscal year 2014 budget address on Feb. 26, Christie said expanding Medicaid would provide health insurance to 104,000 additional people in the state. Medicaid in New Jersey already covers 1.4 million people.

Accepting federal assistance to expand the program also will “help keep our hospitals financially healthy and actually save New Jersey taxpayers money. In fact, taxpayers will save approximately $227 million in fiscal year 2014 alone,” Christie said.

The governor made it clear that he did not specifically support the ACA but that he saw expanding Medicaid as the correct decision from a fiscal and public health standpoint. “If that ever changes because of adverse actions by the Obama administration, I will end it as quickly as it started,” he said.

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