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Feds: NJ has been stripped of $7.6M health grant

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The federal government says New Jersey has been stripped of a $7.6 million health insurance overhaul grant after Gov. Chris Christie’s administration failed to submit a plan for using the money to steer uninsured residents to health plans.

Federal officials confirmed Friday that the money is no longer available.

The money awarded two years ago was originally intended to help set up a state health insurance exchange. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the state could keep the money after deciding to join the federal exchange, but limited how it could be spent.

New Jersey wanted to use it primarily to expand a Medicaid call center, which the federal government said was not a valid use.

This week, New Jersey officials asked for leeway.