Obamacare is a failure, it’s always been a failure, and it won’t succeed.”
That was the blunt assessment of newly re-elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in recent public appearance sponsored by the Wall Street Journal (see embed above).
Obamacare, a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act, has already booted millions of Americans from their existing coverage, and many of their new policies have higher premiums and co-pays. According to USA Today, “Sweeping differences in health care exchange pricing among states and counties is leading to sticker shock for some middle-class consumers and others who aren’t eligible for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.”
Once the postponed employer mandate takes effect on January 1, 2015, millions more Americans will encounter similar big changes in their health insurance coverage as a result of Obamacare regulations. In the meantime, the healthcare.gov website is still broken, complicating matters for replacement-insurance seekers.
In the WSJ-sponsored appearance, Christie was unwilling to provide off-the-cuff solutions to the healthcare insurance controversy.
“These are complex problems, and people are tired of focus-group tested, blow-dried answers that people give that all sound the same…
The governor continued: “Here’s what I’m going to tell you. Obamacare is wrong; it’s a failure. It’s the most extraordinary overreach of government power in the history of our country. And it’s being run by people who have never run anything, so why are we surprised its failing? It’s failing becasue the people in charge have never run anything in their lives, and even if they knew how to run things, this would be hard to run because it’s [an] extraordinary overeach, taking over one-seventh of our economy. So it’s a failure.”
Added Christie, who is expected to be a 2016 presidential contender for the GOP: “What do we need to replace it? We need a robust debate among both sides — unlike last time when the president jammed this down everybody’s throat and got not one Republican vote because he was unwilling to make any compromise including tort reform for God’s sake. This time we need a robust conversation between both sides… where everybody compromises. If we do that, we can craft a solution. If we don’t, we’ll continue to have this failure.”
Tort reform is a reference to making changes in the medical malpractice law so that doctors among other things don’t have to practice defensive medicine. The nation’s trial lawyers who handle personal injury cases generally oppose tort reform.
Despite his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, Chris Christie has taken some heat from Sen. Rand Paul and others for nonetheless going along with the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare. The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that “During his state budget address in February, Christie stressed that he is ‘no fan of the Affordable Care Act’ but added that expanding Medicaid was ‘the smart thing to do for our fiscal and public health.’ He said the move is expected to save the state $227 million a year by enrolling 104,000 low-income people into Medicaid, beginning in January.”