New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie engaged in a tense debate with an Obamacare advocate during a town hall in South River, N.J., on Tuesday, telling her the state won’t invest taxpayer in a “failed federal program.”
Maura Collinsgru, of New Jersey Citizen Action, accused Christie of failing to facilitate Medicaid expansion, thus getting in the way of people getting the coverage they need. She also accused the governor’s administration of responding with “silence” when her group has attempted to contact them.
“That’s not part of the silence you’ve been met with when I expanded the Medicaid program? Let me ask you this: When I expanded the Medicaid program, is that silence?” Christie asked.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, waits as police officers remove a woman, left, who was shouting at him during a town hall meeting Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in South River, N.J. Multiple protesters have disrupted Christie's town hall meeting. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
“You’re simply wrong,” he added, explaining that New Jersey is spending more federal and state dollars on Medicaid than when he took office.
Christie also made it clear that he does not support Obamacare, which he called a “failed federal program.” The crowd responded with applause when he took a swipe at President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
Because New Jersey missed a deadline to submit a plan to the Department of Health and Human Services last month to show how it would use a $7.6 million federal grant to help insure the uninsured, the state had to return the money. New Jersey did not set up its own online insurance exchange, instead directing residents to use the federal exchange.
Watch the tense exchange via CNN here: