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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Set to Move Forward on Medicaid Expansion

February 26, 2013
by Mark Hagland
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Chris Christie would be the eighth Republican governor to accept the federal government's terms for Medicaid expansion in eight months

According to reports in the New Jersey Star-Ledger and the Washington Post, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was expected to announce his support on Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 26, for the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the terms of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Gov. Christie would be the eighth Republican governor to do so in recent months, following a similar announcement on Feb. 21 by Gov. Rick Scott of Florida.

“Taken together, these eight states will extend Obamacare’s coverage expansion to 3.2 million Americans, according to this analysis from the Urban Institute,” the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff wrote. “They will take in a cumulative $90 billion in federal funds to do so.” The quick succession of governors to come out in favor of this part of the Affordable Care Act suggests that, when it comes to the Medicaid expansion, the lure of federal dollars may trump anti-Obama politics,” Kliff added. “When you look at the deal that the states are getting, it’s pretty easy to see why. The federal government will spend an additional $800 billion on Medicaid under the healthcare law to cover all those earning less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line (about $15,000 for an individual). In return, the states only need to put up an additional $8 billion of their own money.”

 

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