The Star-Ledger

Christie Calls Obamacare A 'Failed Federal Program'

The Star-Ledger — Tuesday, March 18, 2014

By Erin O'Neill / The Star-Ledger

video opens in new window - Governor Christie listens to a question from NJCA's Maura Collinsgru
Photo left: from screen grab of CNN video, caption by The Star-Ledger: Chris Christie and health care advocate in tense exchange over at town hall During a town hall in South River Maura Colinsgru, representing the New Jersey Health Care Coalition, pleaded with Gov. Chris Christie for his administration to make it easier for uninsured New Jerseyans to sign up for the state's recently expanded Medicare program. Christie took issue with her question and said he simply disagrees with her views on Obamare and that despite his expansion of Medicare, "for someone like you it's never enough." — Video from CNN (click here)

SOUTH RIVER — Gov. Chris Christie called Obamacare a "failed federal program" during a heated exchange with a health policy advocate during a town hall meeting in South River today.

Christie and Maura Collinsgru of New Jersey Citizen Action repeatedly spoke over one another as they went back and forth over healthcare in the state. At issue was the administration's efforts to connect residents to health insurance coverage.

The state did not submit a plan by deadline for spending $7.6 million in federal money to help explain the federal health insurance law to residents.

Collinsgru said that was one example of how the Christie administration is not connecting people to the coverage they need.

Christie batted down the criticism today, saying, "we've expanded Medicaid. We're the second most generous Medicaid program in the United States of America."

"That's true," Collinsgru said, "but the marketplace people need to connect. And that's almost 400,000 of them who qualify for subsidies. We need to help them connect."

"You believe that Obamacare works and I believe it does not," Christie told .Collinsgru.

Collisgru said insurers, hospital systems, advocates and even Christie's own Medicaid director all agree they must connect people to coverage. "We're asking you to join that," she said.

"Two weeks ago I met with my Medicaid director, she had no complaints," Christie said. "So I think that my access to my Medicaid director is significantly better than your opinion of it."

NJCA's Maura Collinsgru at the microphone NJCA's Maura Collinsgru questions Governor Christie
Photo left: from screen grab of CNN video / Photo right and caption by The Star-Ledger: Governor Chris Christie listens to a question from Maura Collinsgru as he held a town hall meeting focusing on the recovery from Sandy in South River, NJ 3/18/14 photo by Ed MurrayVideo from CNN (click here)

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