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Lawmaker: Christie agrees to expand Medicaid in NJ

Photo: Image by COURTESY OF ABC

Lawmaker: Christie agrees to expand Medicaid in NJ

CREATED Feb 26, 2013

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey lawmaker says he's received word that Gov. Chris Christie intends to expand Medicaid coverage to more low-income adults in New Jersey.

State Sen. Joe Vitale said Tuesday he had been briefed on the decision.

The decision is one of the biggest Christie faced as governor about how to implement President Barack Obama's 2010 health insurance overhaul. Christie had been mum about what he would do.

Christie is the eighth Republican governor to endorse the expansion.

If lawmakers agree, the expansion will become effective on Jan. 1, 2014.

Currently, childless, non-disabled, non-senior adults have to earn under about $2,800 per year to qualify for Medicaid. Under an expansion, someone in that situation earning up to $15,415 per year would qualify. One analysis found 300,000 New Jersey residents would be eligible. That would account for nearly one-fourth of the state's estimated 1.3 million uninsured.