New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Tuesday will announce that he's expanding the state's Medicaid coverage, according to a report in The Star-Ledger.
Christie will announce the expansion, which will offer Medicaid coverage to 300,000 New Jersery residents, during his budget address before a joint session of the state legislature. He will become the eighth GOP governor to agree to the expansion, a pillar of the new federal health care law.
From the Star-Ledger:
Christie is expected to flesh out the details of his budget and lay out a roadmap for financing a huge rebuilding effort after Hurricane Sandy. The Republican governor, a critic of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, could reap up to $300 million by expanding the state Medicaid program in the coming budget year.
For weeks, a coalition of labor, religious, family and consumer groups waged an aggressive letter-writing and media campaign encouraging Christie to expand the Medicaid program.
Doing so, they argued, would allow 300,000 uninsured and childless people to apply for Medicaid. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, people without children could not have been eligible unless they applied for welfare and earned no more than $140 a month. Allowing this would reduce the burden on hospitals to treat uninsured patients, and the state, which partially reimburses those costs.