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Poll: Obamacare in the Garden State -- On the Right Track or a Train Wreck?

The most recent enrollment period just ended, and the numbers are up, but what do you make of the ACA and New Jersey?

It’s been nearly five years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, and this week marked the end of the second open-enrollment period for the federal health insurance marketplace.

More than 250,000 have picked insurance plans through the marketplace, and nearly 400,000 gained insurance through the expansion in Medicaid eligibility.

But the law’s implementation hasn’t always gone smoothly, including the botched launch of the website in late 2013. Some of its revenue-raising provisions, including a tax on medical devices, have also been a source of concern over whether they will dampen medical innovations in the long-term.

Gov. Chris Christie has tried to walk a line: ensuring that some provisions of the law, like Medicaid expansion, will benefit the state, while assuring ACA critics that he shares their concern about a larger government role in healthcare. Democratic advocates of the ACA have countered that his decision to veto a state-based expansion cost the state many millions of dollars in federal funds.

How do you think the Affordable Care Act has affected New Jersey?

  • The law was a major step forward, as far as it goes. If anything, the state would have benefited if the federal government had moved to a single-payer system, taking private insurers out of the equation. But many of its provisions are already proving to be beneficial. If anything, the ACA should be expanded.

  • The ACA struck the right balance, and it’s great to see the reduction in the number of uninsured. Many people are benefiting and the results have been impressive. It may not be perfect, but I’m glad it happened. And Christie should be ashamed of vetoing the state exchange.

  • Something needed to be done about health insurance. Some parts of the law are praiseworthy, but the poor early performance of and other aspects of the law have been troubling. There should be an aggressive effort in Washington to reform the ACA to make it work better.

  • It’s been more bad than good. Yes, the government should work to reduce the number of uninsured, but not by requiring that people get insurance or pay a penalty. If the law isn’t repealed, it needs to be seriously reformed. Christie was right to be skeptical.

  • It’s a disaster. By making more people rely on Medicaid and raising taxes, it’s been an unwanted intrusion into healthcare. New Jersey and the rest of the country would benefit if the ACA were repealed. Christie hasn’t done enough to block its implementation in the state.

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