New Jersey governor Chris Christie has joined the growing list of Republican governors opting to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Christie told state legislators Tuesday that while he was no fan of the federal healthcare law, expansion was the smart thing to do for the state’s fiscal and public health:
“After considerable discussion and research, we have decided to participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. While we already have one of the most expansive and generous Medicaid programs in the nation, including the second highest eligibility rate for children, we have an opportunity to ensure that an even greater number of New Jerseyans who are at or near the poverty line will have access to critical health services beginning in January 2014,” said Christie in prepared remarks.
Under the ACA, the federal government will pay 100% of newly eligible Medicaid patients for the first three years.
Governor Christie’s decision was announced as the NC Senate approved (31-16) legislation to reject Medicaid expansion, which would have covered 500,000 uninsured North Carolinians. That bill now heads to Governor McCrory’s desk.
Earlier this month, McCrory said Medicaid expansion would not be “in the best interest of North Carolina, our health care system, and our citizens.”