Chris Cristie, the Governor of New Jersey, now campaigning for the Republican nomination for President, claims that he would be the guy that would reduce entitlement spending for things like Social Security. Yet, as Governor, he was willing to expand a major entitlement, Medicaid, with the federally assisted funding under ObamaCare. His argument for doing so: "expanding Medicaid was what was best for the people of my state."
In my opinion, this is a false argument on Christie's part. Medicaid in New Jersey is a mess. Those on it can't find a doctor, and that situation is only getting worse. Because New Jersey's Medicaid reimbursement rates are so low, only 38.7% of doctors will accept Medicaid patients. The lowest percentage in the nation. Even lower than than the 46% in a 2011-2012 survey of NJ doctors. What makes their acceptance rates look even worse is the fact that California, second behind New Jersey, has an acceptance rate of 54.2%.
Medicaid expansion is not helping the people of New Jersey. The fact that so few doctors will see these patients only forces them to use emergency rooms as unpaid charity cases. This drives up the cost of insurance rates for everyone in the state. In fact, the average monthly premium is the highest in the nation at $473.17. Is that good for New Jersey? On top of that, the federal taxes that are needed to pay for the expansion of Medicaid will be born by every federal tax payer; including those who live in New Jersey. Another "good thing" for the residents.
The simple fact is that New Jersey is a blue (Democrat) state, and in order to win reelection in 2013, the Republican Christie had to play into Democrat's hands by expanding Medicaid. Much the same way as his photo-op moment hugging President Obama at that infamous post Hurricane Sandy meeting. This simply reveals that Christie is politically unprincipled as a Republican.
Christie: Medicaid Expansion Was ‘Best for the People’ of NJ: http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/08/03/christie-medicaid-expansion-was-best-for-the-people-of-nj/
Chris Christie’s Expansion of Medicaid in New Jersey Angers Some Republicans: https://www.google.com/search?q=Chris+Christie%E2%80%99s+Expansion+of+Medicaid+in+New+Jersey+Angers+Some+Republicans&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
N.J. doctors least willing to accept Medicaid patients under Obamacare: http://www.nj.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2015/03/nj_doctors_least_willing_to_accept_medicaid_patien.html
Obamacare in NJ: high premiums, but high subsidies | NJ.com: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/obamacare_in_nj_high_premiums_but_high_subsidies.html
Average Monthly Medical Insurance Premiums by State: http://kff.org/other/state-indicator/individual-premiums/
After Obama, Christie Wants a G.O.P. Hug: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/us/politics/after-embrace-of-obama-chris-christie-woos-a-wary-gop.html