TRENTON – Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex), chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, today issued the following statement on plans to move forward with legislation she is sponsoring to create a health insurance exchange in New Jersey, a key requirement of the federal health care reform law recently upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Senator Gill was the sponsor of legislation to create a state-based exchange that was approved by both houses of the Legislature in March but was vetoed by the governor. The Senator introduced new legislation (S-2135) which will be considered in the Senate Commerce Committee on Monday, Oct. 1:
“Now that federal health care reform has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, it is imperative we take the steps necessary to ensure New Jersey residents can access all of the benefits of the law. Creating a state-based health exchange is critical to that effort. A locally-governed exchange will ensure that residents who are uninsured or underinsured, as well as small businesses that are seeking plans for their employees, are able to purchase affordable, quality health coverage that best meet their needs.
“With the state facing a November 16th deadline to demonstrate we are prepared to create a health exchange, we must act swiftly. Legislation I am sponsoring to create a strong state-based exchange that will provide residents and small businesses with a one-stop-shop to purchase insurance will be considered in the Commerce Committee on October 1. Passage of this bill is a priority.
“I look forward to an open discussion with stakeholders and to working with my colleagues in the Legislature and the administration to ensure that New Jersey’s 1.3 million uninsured and the underinsured are provided the care they deserve.”