It was sure to happen. Money has always trumped ideology. It’s the reason that even as the GOP campaigns on small government they generally balloon both the government and the deficit.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie becomes the 8th Republican governor to accept the expansion of Medicaid under the new Obamacare law. There are still several Republican governors, including Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of Texas and a few others, who will likely be forced to cave by moneyed interests in both the insurance industry and the healthcare industry.
It is evident that Christie made the u-turn for political expediency. Politicians generally do not leave free money on the table. They simply find a face-saving manner to accept it. So what was Christie’s excuse?
After considerable discussion and research, I have decided to participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. While we already have one of the most expansive and generous Medicaid programs in the nation, including the second highest eligibility rate for children, we have an opportunity to ensure that an even greater number of New Jerseyans who are at or near the poverty line will have access to critical health services beginning in January of 2014….
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 I believe is best for New Jersey
Interesting enough, this reality now is no different from what it was before. His “come to Jesus” moment is simple hypocrisy. One hopes the voters, when given a competent choice, will penalize those who have potentially jeopardized their well-being for a failed political ideology.
It served Christie no political purpose in opposing Obamacare, especially living in New Jersey. He’s already committed enough well documented deadly sins against the right-wing to make his acceptance of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion a fatal blow against any higher office in his Party.
If one doubts the right-wing’s growing hate for Governor Christie, one needs only read the last paragraph of the Breitbart article “RINO-Lution: Christie Caves on Obamacare, Will Take Federal Medicaid Funds”:
Though once a conservative hero for his tough stances on the state budget and his willingness to confront New Jersey’s public sector unions, Christie has fallen from grace. In late October, he offered effusive praise for President Barack Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy, though all Obama had done was visit the area briefly. Many residents are still struggling to rebuild, and face numerous obstacles, including the federal bureaucracy.
And to rub salt into the wound? The article’s picture is one with the governor next to Michelle Obama.
Many Republican politicians have one of two choices to make on many popular middle class policies being promoted by the President. Get on board and live to fight another day, or be divisive, obstructionist, obstinate, and intransigent to die in the next political battle.