Chris Christie to Expand Medicaid
The key passage from Governor Chris Christie’s budget speech yesterday speaks volumes about where the New Jersey Republican stands on principle:
Let me be clear, I am no fan of the Affordable Care Act. I think it is wrong for New Jersey and for America. I fought against it and believe, in the long run, it will not achieve what it promises. However, it is now the law of the land. I will make all my judgments as governor based on what is best for New Jerseyans. That is why I twice vetoed saddling our taxpayers with the untold burden of establishing health exchanges.
But in this instance, expanding Medicaid by 104,000 citizens in a program that already serves 1.4 million, is the smart thing to do for our fiscal and public health. If that ever changes because of adverse actions by the Obama Administration, I will end it as quickly as it started.
Almost all of the same criticisms I leveled at Florida Governor Rick Scott this weekend apply to Christie and his reasoning.
The Governor’s characteristic bluntness, though, merits one further point.
By claiming that the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) “is wrong for New Jersey and for America,” and that “in the long run, it will not achieve what it promises,” Christie is admitting that he has decided to entangle New Jersey in a fundamentally flawed program that will fail to achieve its goals. But don’t worry. In the meantime, New Jerseyans can breathe easy because Christie, like Scott and the other Republican capitulators, will make sure to gobble up as much “free” federal taxpayer money as possible until he decides to pull the plug rather than help cover the costs.
One of the first rules of persuasion is to be coherent. Christie’s tortured, self-serving logic doesn’t come close.