SOMERVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is touting the budgetary benefits of Medicaid expansion under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

The potential Republican presidential contender said Tuesday during a town hall event in Somerville that Medicaid expansion has helped save New Jersey significant money.

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His budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal years calls for cutting the state’s charity care aid for hospitals to $502 million from $650 million.

He said verified charity care cases are down 43 percent because more residents are now insured.

Christie has been a vocal critic of Obama’s signature health care program.

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But he says expanding Medicaid was the right decision for New Jersey.

Christie made the comments at his 130th town hall event at the Van Derveer Elementary School Gymnasium.

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