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Pallone: Getting N.J. covered under ACA a 'top priority'

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Speaking at an Affordable Care Act enrollment event Monday night in Highland Park, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) said that getting New Jersey residents covered under the new law is a “top priority” for him moving forward and that more educational outreach is needed.

"Helping New Jerseyans take advantage of the benefits of the health care law and get covered is a top priority for me," Pallone said in a release for the event. "We must make sure that New Jersey families, under the Affordable Care Act, get access to the care that they need and deserve."

Pallone, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, was joined by state director of Enroll America Justine Ceserano and Chaim Lazarus of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"It is our responsibility to help educate New Jersey families about what is available to them — and that includes the healthcare marketplace," Pallone said.

Education was at the center of a debate last week in the Statehouse as state Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair) repeatedly asked state banking and insurance commissioner Kenneth Kobylowski during a related hearing if $7.6 million in federal grant money issued for planning and implementation purposes could be used to raise public awareness on the new law.

Kobylowski said that currently, he did not believe the money could be used for such purposes but noted that his department is "in active discussions with the federal government on the use of those funds."

Gill has long said that the state should have opted to set up a state-based exchange rather than just full under the federal marketplace in order to secure more federal funding for educating people about the ACA.

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