NJBIA applauds Christie’s health exchange veto

TRENTON – A New Jersey business advocacy group is weighing in on Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to veto the state’s proposed health exchange bill, calling the governor’s decision “absolutely right.”

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association issued a statement Thursday and applauded the governor’s veto. The advocacy group argued the proposed legislation failed to do enough for the New Jersey business community to control the high cost of health insurance.

“The problem with health insurance in New Jersey is not one of access, but one of affordability,” said Christine Stearns, vice president of the NJBIA, in a statement.

“Committing to a health insurance market like this one would have subjected employers to uncertain costs, but offered little hope of making health insurance more affordable,” she said. “The exchange in this bill would have been expensive to run and imposed taxes on insurance plans, even if they were not sold in the exchange.”

Stearns said the NJBIA supports the idea of creating a state-based health insurance exchange, but only if it’s “designed to provide employers and individuals the greatest freedom of choice possible.”

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie