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TRENTON, N.J.—New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday vetoed legislation, that would create a state health insurance exchange where insurers could provide coverage to individuals and small employers.
In his veto message, Gov. Christie, a Republican, said creating an exchange would be premature.
“The very constitutionality of the (Patient Protection and) Affordable Care Act is cloaked in uncertainty,” he wrote, referring to a legal challenge to the reform law that the Supreme Court is reviewing.
“Because it is not known whether the Affordable Care Act will remain, in whole or in part, it would be imprudent for New Jersey now to create an exchange before these critical threshold issues are decided with finality by the court,” he added.
Even if the state Legislature does not override the gubernatorial veto, Gov. Christie's action would not bar the establishment of an exchange. Under the health care reform law, federal regulators have the authority to administer exchanges in states that fail to establish them.
The New Jersey exchange measure, A. 2171, had earlier cleared the state Assembly on a 42-35 vote, while the Senate approved the measure on a 22-13 vote.
Gov. Christie's action contrasts with that of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who last month signed an executive order to establish a New York health insurance exchange after Republican state senators rejected federal funding meant to finance the project.
ALBANY, N.Y.—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order to create a state health insurance exchange.