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Voices from NJ Spotlight

In the rush of quotes and contentions that mark every week at NJ Spotlight, it's easy to miss some of the most memorable.

Last week was a short one, but there was no shortage of ideas or opinions reported on NJ Spotlight. There was plenty of reaction to Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to let the federal government run the state's health benefit exchange. And healthcare officials and executives are taking to heart lessons learned during the superstorm.

The feds get it

“There’s going to be a new regulator on the block, as well as the existing one . . . There’s logic to having only one, but it is what it is.”

-- Joel Cantor, director of the Rutgers University Center for State Health Policy, who noted that the state will continue to play an important role in the health benefit exchange mandated by the Affordable Care Act, despite Gov. Chris Christie’s decision last week to hand the reins of the exchange over to the federal government. What did other experts and analysts have to say about the choice?

Is it getting warm in here?

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,’’

-- An open letter to the American people by authors of the National Climate Assessment report. Read more to find out what the report predicts for the future.

PSE&G's $4 billion upgrade

“We have a choice: continue to make incremental improvements and repairs to our electric and gas systems as we have always done. Or we can be truly forward-looking and make more substantial investments that will help our state be better prepared for the next Irene, Sandy or other catastrophic event like Sandy.’’

Ralph Izzo, chairman and CEO of PSEG. PSE&G wants $4 billion in upgrades and says customers won’t see spikes in their energy bills. Read more to find out how PSE&G does the math.

To expand or not to expand?

“The bottom line is the state cannot afford not to take advantage of the opportunity to expand Medicaid . . . Leaving billions of dollars on the table in Washington while other states reap the benefits of our federal tax dollars is irresponsible.”

-- Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex and Passaic). Where does the Senator get her numbers from?

Building for extreme events

“I said to the architects: ‘Design me a system that will make sure that we don’t ever flood the hospital again.’” -- Joseph F. Scott, president and CEO of Jersey City Medical Center and its parent company, LibertyHealth System. Read what he and others learned from the storm, and how they are putting their knowledge into action.

Subpoena in the administration's future?

“This committee -- and thus the elected representatives of the people -- has been denied the testimony of executive branch officials on issues with significant state budget impacts no less than four times since September.”

-- Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson), chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. Read what uncommon step the committee took last week to force Christie administration officials to testify.

Paula Saha is NJ Spotlight's director of community engagement and social media.

Amy O'Connor is an intern at NJ Spotlight.

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