The Rift Widens
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, having ended speculation that he would not seek the Presidency himself, endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination today. The Republican nominee is likely to win the general election, according to polls.
But in endorsing Romney, Christie attacked as “intellectually dishonest” those who compare Romney’s mandatory health insurance law in Massachusetts with ObamaCare, despite reports coming out just today that Massachusetts officials were consulted in crafting the federal law.
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Yet it was Christie who refused to join in a suit with 26 other states challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare, citing cost of the lawsuit as a reason.
ObamaCare is set to cost states like New Jersey hundreds of millions of dollars. Christie, as a fiscal hawk, knows the details of the cost of the law to the states, for instance in its mandated Medicaid coverage increases. As more people are added to the Medicaid rolls, the federal government will cover most — but not all — of the costs. States would have to make up the rest, in a complex formula that decreases over time. And should the feds want to change the formula, it is New Jersey that would be stuck holding the bag.
So for Christie to offer up cost savings as the reason not to join with Florida and the other states is the height of intellectual dishonesty.
By not joining the suit, Christie sends the message that New Jersey is just fine with ObamaCare.
There is of course a deeper issue: is it constitutional for the government to mandate that citizens purchase a product? Christie seems to say that yes, it is constitutional.
In attacking those who believe RomneyCare and ObamaCare are fundamentally similar, which is to say, everyone but Romney, Christie may have damaged his candidate more than he helped him.