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States Act on Their Own to Fill Holes Washington Is Knocking in Affordable Care Act

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. Taken together, the moves mean the nation is starting to revert to the insurance landscape of a decade ago—a hodgepodge that created the political pressures that culminated in the sweeping 2010 law. At the time, Americans’ ability to find and afford decent health plans, especially if they could not get one through a job, depended on where they lived and whether they were healthy or sick. (Amy Goldstein, Washington Post)

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