Editor's note: This piece was written by Mike Proto.
New Jersey is on the cusp of taking its biggest leap towards planting the roots of Obamacare in the Garden State. Last March, the state Legislature passed a bill that would establish the law’s bureaucratic health care exchanges and now time is running out to stop it. If Gov. Christie does not veto the New Jersey Health Exchange Act by May 10, Obamacare will become entrenched in New Jersey as state law.
Since taking office in January of 2010, Governor Chris Christie has established a persona as a no-nonsense, straight talker, confronting liberal reporters, smacking down government union workers or openly engaging in wars of words with Democratic legislators. The bluster and bravado has made the governor a YouTube sensation and the right’s version of Barack Obama, a celebrity-style political “rock star”. Unfortunately, the governor tends to offer far more sizzle than steak and his credentials as a movement conservative are few.
Many conservatives in New Jersey have become jaded by the governor’s ambivalence towards a number of the issues dearest to them, most particularly with respect to the government takeover of our health care. In contrast to the governor’s very well-crafted image, his positions on Obamacare have been anything but fervent. Rather, they have been non-committal and laced with excuses and double-talk; nothing that could remotely be described as a principled stance against this extraordinary federal overreach and gross infringement on our liberties. To date, Gov. Christie has done nothing to stop the implementation of Obamacare in New Jersey. In fact, he has facilitated it at every turn.
The governor’s acquiescence to Obamacare was first signaled in 2010 by his initial refusal to join the multi-state lawsuit. While twenty-six other states, all led by Republican governors, became a party to the legal challenge in an historic effort to defend the rights of their citizens and to protect their state’s sovereignty, Gov. Christie insisted that his administration needed more time to review the matter. The governor’s contention was dubious at best given the lengthy and contentious national debate over Obamacare. But that wasn’t the governor’s only excuse.