Commentary

Chris Christie (yes, THAT Chris Christie) defends Medicaid expansion, slams critics “around the country”

Chris ChristieGov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has a message for politicians like the conservatives running  North Carolina:

“You were wrong.”

That’s the only conclusion that one can draw from yesterday’s impassioned defense of his decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. This is from a story by reporter Peter Sullivan of The Hill:

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Monday defended his decision to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare, saying critics had been ‘proven wrong.’

He said about 500,000 more people now have coverage through Medicaid in New Jersey, compared with before ObamaCare took effect.

‘There were many naysayers, both inside the state and around the country, who criticized that choice [to expand Medicaid],’ Christie said at a press conference, according to NorthJersey.com. ‘They were wrong then, and they’re proven wrong now.’

Christie is one of several Republican governors to accept the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare, but is among the most prominent in that group as a former presidential candidate who is now an adviser to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.”

The story goes on to mention that Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana is another GOP governor to embrace Medicaid expansion for his state.

Interestingly, the number of people gaining access to health insurance in New Jersey as a result of Medicaid expansion (around 500,000)  is virtually identical to the number of North Carolinians who are going without insurance unnecessarily as a result of the stubborn refusal of Gov. Pat McCrory and state legislative leaders to do the right thing and follow Christie’s lead.

The bottom line: Christie, for all of his glaring flaws as an elected official and politician, is clearly smart enough to understand some basic numbers as well as the utter foolishness of turning down a too-good-to-be-true deal for his state like Medicaid expansion. It’s tragic that North Carolina leaders are too blinded by their ideology to draw the same obvious conclusion.

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