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Obamacare Lawsuit Provides No "Free Ride" For New Jersey

February 01, 2011 J

At the beginning of January, Governor Christie appeared on the Sean Hannity Show and said this in reference to the multi-state lawsuit challenging Obamacare.

“For once in our history, New Jersey is taking a free ride. For once I want to give my citizens, who pay the highest taxes in America, a free ride.”

Well, it turns out there is no free ride for New Jerseyans.

Yesterday, Justice Roger Vinson, in a Florida district court, ruled Obamacare’s individual mandate unconstitutional – and importantly — “unseverable” from the law. As such, his decision rendered the entire law void.

As a consequence of the decision, The Heritage Foundation reports that all 26 states engaged in the lawsuit were granted “declaratory relief” and, thus, would not be required to comply with the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.

The Heritage Foundations explains:

Because the entire act was struck down, the future requirements to expand Medicaid programs will be suspended, at least as to these 26 states, and these states will be relieved of their obligation to make plans for such expansion in the immediate future. At a time when many states face insolvency, the removal of this burden is welcome news. The Obama administration, rather than fight the relief for these 26 states, should extend it to all 50 until the case is finally resolved.

The Christie administration’s failure to join the multi-state lawsuit, thereby protecting our state’s sovereignty, is now shown to have a clear and direct economic consequence.

Ironically, just last week Governor Christie had this to say about Medicaid’s impact on our state budget:

“The biggest problem in the budget is Medicaid,” said Christie. “We’re in a situation this year where we lose $900 million in federal funding for Medicaid but are being told that we can’t reduce benefits. In times of flat or declining revenue you run out of options quickly.”

Well, the governor could have done something about this looming problem. All he had to do was pony up the less than thousand dollars it would have taken to sign on to the multi-state lawsuits, and at least in the near term, he would have saved our state millions of dollars.

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