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.

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.

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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