May 14, 2017
The Wall Street Journal
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is waging an unlikely battle against the state’s largest health insurer in his administration’s waning months.
Mr. Christie, a business-friendly Republican who has claimed credit for cutting corporate taxes and regulations during his nearly two terms in office, is calling for more state control of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, which covers 3.8 million people.
The nonprofit insurer has been in the governor’s crosshairs since his February budget address, when he called on the company to contribute to a new state addiction-treatment fund. The governor’s office asked the insurer for $300 million, a Horizon spokesman said, confirming reports.
Horizon, which reported $12.2 billion in revenue last year, resisted and said it would have to raise customer premiums to cover the cost. Mr. Christie has responded by publicly criticizing the insurer with escalating intensity, blasting it for lobbyist expenses, executive pay and perks.