New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy took to social media on Saturday to announce that he has a tumor on his kidney saying “Over 50,000 New Jerseyans will hear the worlds “You have cancer”. Having been diagnosed with bladder cancer in December I was able to put political differences aside and sympathize with Murphy – until I realized he was politicizing his cancer diagnosis and making his announcement a commercial for the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Rather than admitting that the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) as been an abysmal failure as so many elected officials, employers and health insurance subscribers across the county have Governor Murphy continues to double double down. He announced in March that New Jersey will move to a state-based healthcare exchange beginning in 2021. Murphy claims the move is to protect New Jerseyans from the “sabotage” of Obamacare by President Trump and Republicans in Congress. What Murphy is really doing is putting politics before the health and lives of New Jerseyans and further ensuring that healthcare is unaffordable.
While New Jersey Governor Murphy and his family are spending their Christmas vacation in Tanzania his Facebook and Twitter feeds were very active Thursday. Murphy’s accounts sent out a series of posts touting his first year “accomplishments”. I don’t believe most New Jerseyans consider any part of Murphy’s agenda “accomplishments”. Murphy’s vision continues to be wrong for New Jersey. Expect Murphy to double down in 2019 including pushing for “legalized” marijuana, a $15 minimum wage and driver licenses for illegal immigrants. Also expect New Jersey to begin to resemble Detroit as Murphy pushes the revenue generators, job creators and law abiding citizens of the state.
In New Jersey Governor Murphy’s continued efforts to show he believes he’s more powerful than Washington New Jerseyans must carry health insurance by January 1, 2019 or pay a penalty. On May 30, 2018 Murphy signed the New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act bringing back the mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act that the U.S. Congress repealed in 2017.
Today Governor Murphy highlighted his accomplishments from his first year in office live on YouTube from the St. James A.M.E Church in Newark. What Murphy considers “accomplishments” most New Jerseyans I talk to consider further degradation of our state. Our Governor appears to take every opportunity he can to get his face on video. I often wonder if he wants to be Governor or a social media celebrity. I found it telling that no members of the legislature joined Murphy for his self promoting year in review speech. Murphy did a good job playing to his Newark audience. I lost count how many times he said “people of color”.
On Friday a Federal Judge in Texas rule that Obamacare is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated a penalty for those who forgo health insurance. A group of 20 states including Texas claimed they had been harmed by an increase in the number of people on state-supported insurance rolls. They claimed that when Congress repealed the tax penalty for the individual mandate in 2017 it eliminated the U.S. Supreme Court’s rationale for finding the ACA constitutional in 2012.
Despite a push by Murphy, Booker and Menendez fewer New Jerseyans are signing up for healthcare through the exchange as the December 15, 2018 deadline approaches. Enrollment is down 16% from last year. While the Trump Administration removed mandates Murphy signed laws last Spring to create a state income tax penalty for those who do not have healthcare coverage. Still signups are down.