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NJ asks US for flexibility on health grant



TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s banking and insurance commissioner is pressing the federal government for permission to use an expiring $7.6 million health overhaul grant as the state sees fit.

In a letter sent Wednesday to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, commissioner Kenneth Kobylowski says the federal government has nixed the state’s plans for using the money.

The funds were given two years ago to help plan a state health insurance exchange. But Gov. Chris Christie later decided the state would not set up its own exchange.

Health advocates have called on the state to promote enrollment in the federal exchange.

The state says it has asked for permission for spending along those lines but that the federal government has largely disallowed it.

The grant is set to expire Thursday.