.
News Alert
UPDATE: Massive Brush Fire Rages In Berkeley,…

Christie Vetoes Obamacare Health Insurance Exchange in New Jersey

Conservatives are pleased, but one Democratic critic thinks Christie's veto is just to "burnish his conservative credentials" for a possible VP run with Mitt Romney.

After months of mulling his options, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed state legislation Thursday that would have in New Jersey, a fundamental step in implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—known coloquially as "Obamacare"—in the state .

Christie had until Thursday, May 10, to make a decision on Assembly Bill #2171, passed by the state Legislature in March, or the bill would have become law, with or without his signature.

Christie said that because the U.S. Supreme Court decided to take on issue in March, just 10 days after the New Jersey Assembly passed the health exchange bill, the Affordable Care Act "might not survive [legal] scrutiny."

"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," Christie said in a prepared statement.

He explained his veto by saying that the "better course of action" would be to "monitor the ever-changing landscape" surrounding the health care law and Supreme Court and "refrain from imposing its mandates upon our citizens until outstanding issues are settled, and the required course of action is clear."

'Burnishing his conservative credentials'

The veto was little more than Christie's effort to "burnish his conservative credentials at the expense of the folks who live in the state of New Jersey," said John Wisniewski (D-19), the Assembly deputy speaker who represents and the surrounding area, and who is a frequent critic of the governor.

Wisniewski said he was "disappointed" by Christie's veto. "He could have finessed it" by doing nothing and letting it automatically become law, the deputy assembly speaker said.

"It can be summed up in that [Christie has] once again done what's right for his political ambitions and what's wrong for the people of the state of New Jersey," Wisniewski said.

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) expressed similar concerns in a statement Thursday afternoon. 

"Gov. Christie is cutting off a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans who desperately need health insurance," Lautenberg said. "This is an example of the governor putting his tea-party driven national aspirations ahead of the health of residents of our own state.  The insurance exchange would give small businesses and uninsured New Jersey residents access to affordable health care coverage, but the governor's continued drive to the far right of American politics has hurt our state once again."

The governor, who has repeatedly denied he has any intention of leaving New Jersey to run for the Republican presidential nomination, is a supporter of the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney. Christie's name has been floated as being for Romney's ticket. The governor has said he's "comfortable" with the idea.

Federal health care takeover

Christie's conservative critic and former rival for the Republican nomination for governor, Steve Lonegan, said in a statement that he "applaud[ed] Gov. Christie for using his veto pen today to thwart the federal takeover of our health care in New Jersey."

Lonegan, chairman of the NJ chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group, called the health care mandate an "unprecedented federal assault on our liberties."

It's not over, said Wisniewski, who wants to marshal the votes to override Christie's veto. He said he has until the end of the legislative session in January 2014 to do just that.

"If were a straight partyline vote, the prospects are slim" of passing it, Wisniewski said. "But this is more than an issue that affects Democrats. It affects the constituents of Republicans throughout the state. It shouldn't have party boundaries attached to it.

"Republican legislators should vote to override [the veto] because it's what's right for the people of the state."

(Patch Regional Editor Tim Zatzariny Jr. contributed to this report.)

Linda Musser May 13, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Note to N/A. You are a gutless coward. You comment on these blogs, attacking and making comments such as : "N/A 2:54 pm on Saturday, May 12, 2012 This is exactly the type of response one would expect to see from someone who is running scared that the middle class and poor actually could have what the rich take for granted. Way to be a pillar of society will Chris Christie donate to your council race again?" I am not running scared from anything. I take NOTHING for granted. I am not rich, but I do work hard and am proud of what I have accomplished through hard work, and enjoy the fruits of my labor. You, on the other hand won't disclose who you are, just sit behind a mask and critize those who have an opposing view. Why is that? Do you feel you are so important that if you used your name people would be too intimidated to respond?
N/A May 13, 2012 at 07:26 AM
No Linda Musser you were the Gloucester Township Republican Council candidate who took money from the governors party and now "write letters to thank him" for voting against allowing NJ Residents attaining health insurance at rates they could afford. You cowardly praise him because he demands it of you since he gave you contributions to bail out your election fund. You should be ashamed of yourself for bragging about your bought and paid for position but then again you would need to have self respect to be ashamed of your own cowardly actions. Too think you wanted to run municipal government? An attitude like yours that is an embarrassment to the Republican Party for having so carelessly chosen a candidate with such a foul mouth. Your an insult to their screening committee. A republican council candidate calling a constituent "a gutless coward" like you called me for not divulging my name is nothing less than a disgrace. My name is irrelevant, a distraction tactic by you, but it does not change the fact that your misleading into believing you wrote your letter (if you actually did) for anything other than to make sure he knew his donation bought your support.
N/A May 13, 2012 at 07:36 AM
Linda Musser It's not hard to see why the voters choose against you 3x now, even with the governor’s contributions and support. You’re clueless when it comes to having respect for constituent’s opinions when they differ from your bought and paid for opinion. As to why I don’t divulge my real name here? Well? It's because of your obscenity and name calling toward anyone who opposes your bought and paid for views. Your disgraceful conduct is exactly my reasoning for not divulging my real name. Your actions are nothing less than cowardly and I stand by my comment that you are "running scared" but not just of the middle class and poor attaining the same medical coverage you and the rest of the rich Republican politicians and your fellow business owners have, your truly "running scared" that if you don't openly praise the governor for abusing those classes of people that you would lose your future contributions and support from the governor. FYI, you are not the governor you could not even win a council seat in your town despite his money and support, stop being a cyber bully. Stop making people hate you and turn against your party more than they already did.
N/A May 13, 2012 at 08:13 AM
Here you go, Rich Republican Governor Christie AKA. Sir Chunk-A-Lot. Instead of vetoing laws and guaranteeing the poor and middle class will never be able to afford healthcare how about you take care of a problem you were actually elected to fix that has worsened under your leadership (or lack thereof), or is this also something else that you could care less about since it obviously does not affect your rich contributors: The States With the Most Homes in Foreclosure Posted: February 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm 2. New Jersey > 2011 foreclosure rate: 6.4% > December, 2011 unemployment: 9% (13th highest) > Home price change (2006Q3-2011Q3): -22.6% (14th largest decline) > Processing period: 270 days New Jersey has one of the longest foreclosure processing periods in the country at 270 days. The state also has a 90+ day delinquency rate of 10.6%, which is the third highest rate in the country. On top of this, the state’s housing market is not expected to rebound for some time. In fact, home prices are forecast to decrease an additional 3.9% by the third quarter of 2012.
N/A May 13, 2012 at 08:56 AM
Paul no it doesn’t help, your argument at least. It fails to say what inaction costs us every year. It just goes on to say what the price tag could be instead it should say is the real facts then maybe people like you would not jump to conclusions every time the president wants to do something good for the nation. Did you know people with health insurance are 75% less likely to file bankruptcy and default on their home mortgage. Making mortgage and loan rates lower and more easily accessible is as simple in many cases as helping people attain health coverage they can afford. Currently over 50% of mortgage applications that are denied were denied due to medical collections on credit profiles. 75% of medical collections that hamper a mortgage application are from homeowners that have no medical coverage and therefore nobody to negotiate fair medical billings. Allowing people to attain medical coverage at rates that are affordable is proven to strengthen our economy because it strengthens people’s ability to attain credit therefore strengthens our banking system. .............(1of 2 ...continued).......
N/A May 13, 2012 at 08:57 AM
( Continued...2 of 2) Paul, I wouldn’t expect you to understand that especially since by grasping that small fact your Republican leadership keeps from you, your opinion surly would be swayed but, Boehner’s blunder in the budget deal last year cost the US over a trillion dollars in loan debt and crushed the European and Chinese economies and that was just on the threat of defaulting loans. You have no problem with that, yet you expect the economy to rebound when people can’t get loans many due to medical collection accounts. Yet god forbid the president gives every American access to health coverage for the next 10 years at a cost far less then Boehner’s threats did and you have issues. If Boehner was a Democrat you would be hanging him for what he did to our economy and the world economy instead you crucify the President because he is insuring the people of his own country get access to affordable health insurance. The same healthcare that Bush promised us for 8 years but instead gave us $4 a gallon gas and warfronts all over the world. The same warfronts that Bush and Chaney rake in the profits from.
N/A May 13, 2012 at 09:13 AM
Paul, By the way again I just want to point out the article you quote as being from the Washington Post actually was not it is a blog with no more credibility or truthfulness the your blog here on Patch. It is one person’s opinion not factual in any way he even goes on to say it is his opinion and refers to comments made as his “Pinocchio Test.” This Blog you refer to is not a news article as you portrayed it to be and it is hardly factual at all and infect the author Glenn Kessler is very openly a Republican Backer and shared the “BLOG” as “HIS OPINION.” Please stop attempting to mislead people. Are you that derailed to the real world that you truly only see things the way Republican bloggers tell you to?
Ric May 13, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Who is the First Kenyan? Why are you bringing up Kenya? Are you making a lame attempt to point out the president has some black ancestry? Did you know he also has some white ancestry? Why do you feel the president's ancestry is pertinent to a discussion about healthcare? I do not like Obama but I do not see why you feel it necessary to remind everyone of his race. I also did not like Bush Junior, like most Americans- then and now, and yet I do not recall anyone calling him First German or First WASP. Your arguments could be taken seriously if you had dropped the irrelevant racial reference. Have a great day.
David Vaccaro May 13, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Ric 9:09 am on Sunday, May 13, 2012 Who is the First Kenyan? Why are you bringing up Kenya? Are you making a lame attempt to point out the president has some black ancestry? Did you know he also has some white ancestry? Why do you feel the president's ancestry is pertinent to a discussion about healthcare? I do not like Obama but I do not see why you feel it necessary to remind everyone of his race. I also did not like Bush Junior, like most Americans- then and now, and yet I do not recall anyone calling him First German or First WASP. Your arguments could be taken seriously if you had dropped the irrelevant racial reference. Have a great day. Ric, They called Bush a lot worse. I was just joking around. Lighten up, I won't be calling him that for much longer: http://m.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll Ooh! That's gotta hurt. (-:
MacArthur May 13, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Oh, right, Rasmussen. The poll that blew a race in Hawaii by 40 points and had an average margin of error of nearly 6 percent two years ago. That sounds reliable. http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/04/rasmussen-polls-were-biased-and-inaccurate-quinnipiac-surveyusa-performed-strongly/ How 'bout you check in with Quinnipiac or pretty much any other poll that might be able to hit the broad side of a barn, chief?
David Vaccaro May 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM
MacArthur, Help me out, send me a link to a poll you think is more reliable and better reflects your reality. Thanks
MacArthur May 13, 2012 at 02:54 PM
My reality? How about any reality? Let's take three that were more accurate than Rasmussen two years ago: Gallup: http://www.gallup.com/home.aspx SurveyUSA: http://www.surveyusa.com/electionpolls.aspx PPP: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/polls/
David Vaccaro May 13, 2012 at 03:11 PM
MacArthur, Thanks for the links. I think some want to cherry-pick the polls that best reflect their wishes. Check this site out: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html The average of quite a few polls show our inept president up by a whopping 2%...47% to Romney's 45%. If you take that at face value and add the fact that most undecided (8%)break for the challenger...the Kenyan heads home to Chicago. It's not all bad...Reverend Wright picks up 4 parishioners. Dave (-:
Paul J. DiBartolo May 13, 2012 at 03:43 PM
No one has to bother spending the time to remind people of Obama's race; he's quite capable of doing that himself when it suits his agenda. Consider that he thought it wise to interject himself into the middle of a fracas in Sanford, Florida, that still has not convinced many that it was a racially motivated incident, by telling us the if he had a son he could have looked like Trayvon. On the other hand, as you say, he is half white but did not feel compelled to remind us that Matthew Owens, a young white man beaten brutally by twenty other individuals in a racially motivated attack to within an inch of his life in Atlanta, could have looked like his cousin if he had one.
MacArthur May 13, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Cherry-pick, as you did with Rasmussen? And of course, looking at the national polling is pretty meaningless. What really matters is that link a couple clicks down from the overall poll: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/2012_elections_electoral_college_map.html And that electoral map doesn't look so hot for Mr. Romney right now. Also, seriously, I know you think you're being funny with the Kenyan garbage, but it makes you come off like a nutbar and undermines any salient point you're trying to make.
David Vaccaro May 13, 2012 at 05:05 PM
MacArthur, I suggested that I may have done that and I stand corrected. But when you consider the that undecided break for the challenger, most of the last election's close races may not be that difficult for Romney from here. Obama tossed a grenade into North Carolina with his pandering to the gays, and God only knows how this will play out in the other close states, positively awfully I'm hoping. Obama should of course win the welfare states with what he has delivered or promisde but everything else should cut Romney's way. Personally, I think it's all but over for Obama unless he proves that he's one of the children of Fatima. As I said about calling borat the First Kenyan, it's just a pet name. Dave
Ric May 13, 2012 at 10:21 PM
David, at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty College, did Romney really say marriage is an institution between a man, a woman, another woman, another woman, another woman and another woman? Do Mormons still practice polygamy?
David Vaccaro May 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Ric 6:21 pm on Sunday, May 13, 2012 David, at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty College, did Romney really say marriage is an institution between a man, a woman, another woman, another woman, another woman and another woman? Do Mormons still practice polygamy? RIC, I have no idea what morons do. I was hoping you would weigh in on that. Dave
Chris Welch May 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Matt- "If you show up at a hospital and you ask for care, it will be given to you regardless of your ability to pay. " You need to clarify your idea of "care". We are only required to care for true emergency patients. If that's what you're implying, you need to rewrite your thoughts. Sure, you can walk in the ER and complain you don't feel good. Nobody will throw you out. You''ll just sit for hours until they get around to you. Me: 17 years Thomas Jefferson University Hospital - Philadelphia.
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) May 14, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Chris, my only point is that when people enter the ER in need of care, they get it. I'm not saying it's optimal, and if you have worked in or around triage for 17 years, you also know that it's cheaper and faster to provide solid preventive primary care than to have emergency bypass surgeries, etc. (If you're interested in some research being done right in our backyard on the impact of this type of inefficiency in the current system, Dr. David Brenner of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers has some fascinating data on the ways in which a significant portion of the healthcare services in the city are used by a handful of repeat visitors: http://www.camdenhealth.org/data-research/camden-health-database/) In short, you can sum it up like this: 1. Delivery of care is not contingent on the patient's ability to pay. 2. When charity care is administered ($41 billion annually by some estimates - http://www.kff.org/uninsured/7451.cfm), the insured, the taxpayers, the hospitals, etc., bear the costs--in higher premiums, higher taxes, etc. 3. I don't know that the Affordable Care Act is necessarily the answer, but my point way back at the beginning is that it doesn't make sense to lie to ourselves that we don't already assume some of these costs under the current system.
Chris Welch May 14, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Matt- first, I don't work in the ER. Sorry, should have been more clear. Biomedical. I'm not denying people can come into the ER and ask for care. "you also know that it's cheaper and faster to provide solid preventive primary care than to have emergency bypass surgeries, etc. " Um, let's keep this discussion within the realms of reality. Someone doesn't go from a patient requiring faster cheaper primary care, to emergency bypass surgery in a day. Unfortunately most people that need emergency bypass surgery (something not provided in the ER) bring that upon themselves after years of self abuse. It would be much cheaper if people would take a real interest in their health ( IE: diet and exercise) to begin with. And the people ( with no insurance) running to the ER for "non- emergency " care are not really the kinds of people that are out exercising and or going to doctors for well visits. "The cost of that is born, in one form or another, by everyone with health insurance and everyone who pays taxes. This is a fact." And how will Obamacare change that ? Let's just focus on the 20 million people with no insurance at all. 10 million illegals and 10 million US citizens. How does Obamacare make it cheaper for tax payers to fund the cost of providing care for them ?
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) May 14, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Right on, Chris--if you're a biomed, you of all people would know where some of the biggest cost drivers are. Service contracts? OEM-supplied parts that go for three and four times their true cost? What about having to pay extra for access codes to unlock a CT scanner that you've already bought just so you can do PMs? (Here's a good, recent read, too, on how patients who have private insurance can't even get access to the scans they're covered for, even with patient advocates working on their behalf: http://bit.ly/J2mTNn) Again: I'm not convinced that the Affordable Care Act is the best way to do things. What I do know is that we as a nation are already paying for charity care in one way or another. We don't have any way to make people not get sick. We don't have any right to turn them away in need. And you and others here have touched on the feeling that there is an innate sense of fairness that must be met here in order for people who contribute to get out what they're putting back into the system. How we do that, I don't know. But we're at the threshold of so many important medical discoveries--genomics, targeted imaging therapies, nanomedicine--that we will eventually have to find a way to distribute them.
Chris Welch May 14, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Matt - yes service contracts are very expensive. One of the reasons we have such a large biomed department. There are very few items in this hospital ( we also cover Einstein, Frankford- Aria, & Methodist hospitals) that we don't cover in-house. Huge cost savings to the hospital, and in the end patients. OEM parts pricing - no arguement there. They gouge for sure. But there are third party vendors that help with that. Big part of our job is outsourcing parts and or doing bench repairs on the part itself. Purchasing codes to PM CT's ? Not sure where you got that info. I know we've never had to do it.
Chris Welch May 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Matt - On your article concerning imaging denials . You wrote it's about patients with private insurance. Less then 40% of the cases sited in the article were private insurance patients. 35% were uninsured and the rest were all on government insurance plans. I don't see that as being a case study in what's wrong with private insurance. If you were showing it just to point out that there are abuses in the private insurance industry ? Again, no argument there. Plenty of rotten private insurances companies that will use every trick, even illegal ones, to save a buck. What's the governments excuse for doing the same thing ? Interesting to see the majority of the cases involved cancer patients. I work in the Cancer Treatment Center. CT scans are a routine part of patient treatment planning. Wish I could read more on why they were denied. Can only think the scans were performed and then some bean counter thought it was not needed so denied payment. You're right. We don't have any way to keep people from getting sick or injured. But we ( or I should say individuals) have penty of ways to work to keep themselves as healthy as possible. This country fails miserably at that. It would go a long way towards saving money, in regards to healthcare, if people would step up and take some responsibilty for thier own well being. We don't have a right to turn them away ? As long as we get paid. I do have a right to earn a living for what I do. As does my wife , a nurse.
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) May 14, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Chris - re: access codes, there's an issue with that leverage being used by OEMs to lock shops into service contracts--i.e., you can't adjust the PM schedule or checklist without the vendor say-so because they allege it conflicts with standard operation of the device. Even if you haven't experienced it, there are plenty of tales about how hard it is to get access to a manual or device passwords--which also, by the way, keeps institutions from being able to buy cheaper parts and devices on the pre-owned market. It's particularly hitting ISOs, as you mention, because it keeps service deals from being farmed out. Nice to work for a big place like Jeff but what happens at these rural centers and places farther removed from the subscriber base of the jam-packed Northeast and its teaching hospitals? As far as the study: another thing to consider is that it's only a small selection of people who sought advocacy help over a period of four years. Why should it take any case manager an average of 15 contacts with an insurer to deliver necessary care? I digress. Of course you or your wife or any professional deserves to be paid for the work that's done. I'm not arguing that. I'm just saying that the costs are already in the system whether we acknowledge them or not.
Chris Welch May 14, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Matt - about access codes being used to lock shops into service contracts. In 17 years I've never heard that being done. We are considered an in-house shop by vendors. GE, Philips, HP, Elekta, Varian, Siemens, we deal with them all. "you can't adjust the PM schedule or checklist without the vendor say-so because they allege it conflicts with standard operation of the device. " If something goes wrong and a patient is hurt, you can bet the OEM will be named in the law suit. Don't you think they have a right to make sure the equipment with thier name on it is being maintained properly ? Nice to work for a big place like Jeff but what happens at these rural centers and places farther removed from the subscriber base of the jam-packed Northeast and its teaching hospitals? Not sure what you're asking me here. "As far as the study: another thing to consider is that it's only a small selection of people who sought advocacy help over a period of four years. Why should it take any case manager an average of 15 contacts with an insurer to deliver necessary care?" Can't answer that. Maybe someone could contact President Obama and ask him why the government is denying treatments to people. ;)
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) May 14, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Hi Chris--the access codes issue is top-of-mind for me because I circulate on the medical device beat as well and just wrapped a piece on the subject. As you well know, most of that stuff is an issue of control--half the guys and gals in the ISO world were 25-year OEM techs before they set up their own shingles anyway. You can bet that this kind of thing is going on nationwide; I've spoken with a guy who's shopping a whitepaper on the subject. E-mail me and I'll shoot you over a link or two if you want to read more. My only point about Jeff being a top-notch academic institution is that it's not typically hamstrung by the challenges that other, more far-flung areas served primarily by ISOs must meet. Talk to some biomeds down South or in Appalachia and see how much money they have for staff training, or how many people they can keep in-house to do their own repairs, etc.--those dollars are always the first to go, and as equipment lifecycles lengthen, the knowledge gap gets bigger while the need for repairs increases, too. And hey, how about the GE-Alphasource deal--setting up an exclusive third-party provider for *only* your aftermarket parts stuff? Fishy, fishy.
Ric May 14, 2012 at 03:58 PM
David, do not get your hope up. Mitt Witt's current lead is statistical nil.
Chris Welch May 14, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Matt - would definitely like to read what you have. I understand the issues that small hospitals and clinics deal with. Been at training schools with guys that work them. Actually spent 3 weeks with a guy from Cuba. He was the only service engineer in the country for 12 machines. It's tough and expensive,no doubt. Just spent $5300 for a cover that is made from about $25 of composite material. But it can't make one, and I can't pick one up at Home Depot. So not much choice. One of the worries for the stand alone clinics, even those affiliated with hospitals, was the reimbursement rates. Obama was talking about reducing them. So you have places that are just barely staying afloat. Many of them are only able to do it because of the funds coming from the hospital, and he wants to cut reimbursement rates. Those places would close. And the patients they would normally treat would now have to travel further to reach the major hosptials. http://www.acr.org/HomePageCategories/News/ACRNewsCenter/Imaging-Cuts-in-2012-Medicare-Final-Rule.aspx Another problem with this imaging reduction plan is they are classifying linear accelerators as Diagnostic Imaging devices. Which they clearly are not.
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) May 14, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Clearly they are not, but they're setting themselves up for another isotope shortage while NIH dumps $10M here and there into home-based manufacturing systems. The standalone thing is interesting because for a while there, standalone clinics were getting all the financial breaks, and now it's the hospitals that are scooping up rads because they can get more significant reimbursements there. Meanwhile, there's just widespread consolidation in that industry as people look for ways to monetize their roll-up investments from buying up freestanding imaging centers...so even as imaging becomes a greater part of our specialty and subspecialty modalities, the message that's being reinforced is how it's the most expensive service and rads are the ones who command the highest salaries. I'll send you a few links. Good chat.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something