States act on their own to fill holes Washington is knocking in Affordable Care Act

July 1, 2018, The Washington Post, Amy Goldstein- The first Sunday after his inauguration, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order directing state agencies to report everything they could do to ramp up the visibility of the Affordable Care Act and persuade more people to buy health coverage under the law. Four months later, the Democratic governor signed into law a requirement that makes New Jersey the first state in a dozen years to compel most residents to carry insurance. As bureaucrats in Trenton scramble to set the mandate in motion, New Jersey’s decisions are at the forefront of a nascent movement with states stepping out on their own to counteract Washington’s efforts to erode the ACA. New Jersey’s insurance provision and a similar one that the D.C. Council adopted last week are timed to begin in January, when a federal penalty is scheduled to disappear for Americans who violate the mandate built into the health-care law. A requirement that Vermont just approved is supposed to take effect in 2020, once officials settle on its specifics.

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