- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

More than 30,000 of the 140,000 New Jersey residents who signed up for Medicaid under Obamacare are caught in a tech backlog or waiting for their ID cards, state officials told a legislative committee Monday.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reports that state Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez told the Assembly Budget Committee that “the very positive news of the expansion gets eclipsed by the backlog.”

She was referring to the part of Obamacare that allows states to extend Medicaid benefits to those making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The federal government is supposed to pay for the expanded population in 2014-2016 before scaling down its contribution to the federal-state program to 90 percent in 2020 and beyond.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bucked the trend among most Republican governors and decided to expand the program. But now, processing applications under NJ FamilyCare has been a “slow and problematic” process, the Ledger reports.

An automated system that’s supposed to make it easier to apply for benefits is incomplete and “not operational,” Ms. Velez said, and the state is withholding money from its contractor on the system, the Star-Ledger reported.