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New Jersey governor to back Medicaid expansion: report

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives his State of the State address in the assembly chamber in Trenton, New Jersey, January 8, 2013. REU
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gives his State of the State address in the assembly chamber in Trenton, New Jersey, January 8, 2013. REU

(Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will expand the state's healthcare coverage for the poor, joining other Republican governors who have recently opted in favor of the measure under President Barack Obama's federal healthcare reform, media reported on Tuesday.

Christie is expected to present his decision to the state's lawmakers later on Tuesday, The Star-Ledger wrote in its Web edition, citing unidentified sources.

Republican governors, including Christie, have criticized the Affordable Care Act law. But several have recently decided to expand the coverage anyway, including Florida Governor Rick Scott, who reversed course last week.

Not expanding Medicaid could cost New Jersey $4.2 billion over the next nine years, according to a report published on Thursday by the left-leaning think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective.

If it opted to expand, New Jersey could save $2.5 billion, the group said.

(Reporting by Tiziana Barghini in New York; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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