Chris Christie on Health Care


Parents have some choice, but kids should be vaccinated

Amid an outbreak of measles, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) both came under fire for saying it should be up to parents whether to vaccinate their children. Christie said "parents need to have some measure of choice" in deciding whether to vaccinate their children.

The New Jersey governor quickly clarified his position once the issue began grabbing national headlines in the U.S.: "To be clear: The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated," Christie's office said in a statement sent to reporters. "At the same time different states require different degrees of vaccination, which is why he was calling for balance in which ones government should mandate."

Paul, however, doubled down on his view that the decision whether to vaccinate one's child is a matter of personal liberty: "The state doesn't own your children," Paul said. "Parents own the children."

Source: The Hill 2015 weblog on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Feb 2, 2015

Hold down Medicaid costs while providing focused choice

In 2010, we put in place a model to better connect populations most in need of assistance with the kind of care they actually need--whether seniors, people with disabilities, or adults with substance abuse or mental illness. We reformed the state's Medicaid program and created an innovative system that gives senior citizens & people with disabilities easier access to care and greater choice.

Our whole emphasis has been to deliver the right level of service to the right person, in the right place. As a result, we've increased and improved the options of assistance and care provided in a home setting and in the community, while reducing our reliance on more traditional institutional care, whether in nursing homes or developmental centers.

This approach has worked under Medicaid, improving services and holding down costs. NJ's Medicaid spending growth on these groups has trailed the national average, and has been cited as the second lowest in the region.

Source: State of the State address to 2015 New Jersey Legislature , Jan 13, 2015

Mandatory quarantine for travelers from Ebola areas

Q: New York City's health commissioner says she was furious that she was not informed before your quarantine [on a US nurse returning from an Ebola area] was imposed. Do you no longer trust the CDC?

CHRISTIE: Of course we do. The CDC protocols have been a moving target. It was my conclusion we need to do this to protect the public health. Governor Cuomo [of NY] agreed. And now, Mayor Emanuel [of Chicago] agrees. I think the CDC eventually will come around to our point of view.

Q: The NIH says it's not good science to quarantine people when they're not symptomatic because they can't spread the disease in those situations.

CHRISTIE: They're counting on a voluntary system with folks who may or may not comply. When you're dealing with something as serious as this that we can count on a voluntary system. This is government's job. If anything else, the government job is to protect safety and health of our citizens. And so, we've taken this action and I absolutely have no second thoughts about it.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 26, 2014

3-week quarantine for Ebola medical workers

Q: The NIH talks about the unintended consequence [of quarantining U.S. medical workers returning from Ebola areas]. Everyone agrees that the only way you're going to stop this crisis is to end Ebola in West Africa and the concern is that the medical workers, the doctors, the nurses, that are willing to take their chances and go over there when they hear now that they're going to have to undergo mandatory 3-week quarantine when they come back may decide not to go in the first place. So, are you concerned that you're going to disincentivize people from going over there to help stop the outbreak?

CHRISTIE: No, I'm really not, because I believe that folks who want to take that step and are willing to volunteer also understand that it's in their interest and the public health interest to have a 21-day period thereafter if they've been directed expose to people with the virus. Gov. Cuomo [D-NY] and I agree on this. I think this will become a national policy sooner rather than later.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2014 interview of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 26, 2014

Expand Medicare, but no N.J. ObamaCare exchange

Q: You called on the president to apologize, and he seemed to take your advice; he did apologize for people who were getting their health plans canceled. Are you for delay in further implementation of the law?

CHRISTIE: Anybody who has run anything in their lives could see this coming a mile away. And that's why we didn't do a state based health exchange. We didn't do it because we could see that this whole program was going to be a problem. So let's own up, tell the truth about what's going on. Then they can worry about working something out to fix the problem--not working out of a fantasy that these are not major problems. Lots of us have been saying all along about the fact that this was just too big for the government to handle.

Q: You didn't set up an exchange, but you did accept the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare.

CHRISTIE: I do what's best for the people of New Jersey every day. And expanding Medicaid in N.J. was a relatively small expansion. It's going to benefit N.J.'s budget.

Source: ABC This Week 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 10, 2013

ObamaCare was a mistake; a failed policy from the start

Q: Do you think ObamaCare is doomed? Do you think the Republican Party has an obligation to make it work at this point?

CHRISTIE: I think ObamaCare was a mistake. And I've said that right from the beginning. I think it's a failed policy. That's why we did not institute state-based exchanges. And you could see exactly why when you see the disaster that's happening right now. The fact of the matter is the president didn't tell folks the truth about what was going to happen with their own private insurance policies. And what I urged them to do, is tell people the truth. That's the thing they expect. And I think that's why we've gotten the support we've gotten in NJ. Because whether it's good news or bad news, I tell folks in NJ the hard truth they need to hear. And even when they disagree with me, they've come around to support me. Because they say at least this guy is looking us in the eye and telling us the truth. I think the president failed that test, unfortunately, on ObamaCare.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 10, 2013

Allow insurers to sell "mandate-free" policies

Allow insurers to sell "mandate-free" policies In 1979, when Christie was a high school senior, [his mother] Sandy developed breast cancer. She survived, thanks to early detection and treatment. Her story later became part of Christie's 2009 race for governor, when Democrats aired misleading ads
Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p. 21 , Jun 5, 2012

Prosecuted politicians & their cronies, including jail time

Prosecuted politicians & their cronies, including jail time I knew Chris Christie as a federal prosecutor of politicians I tracked for years as a NJ State House reporter. He took down Wayne Bryant, the veteran state senator from Camden County who had taxpayers outfit him with a red Lincoln Town Car; he jailed Prosecuted politicians & their cronies, including jail time Jail time for those three is something I never thought I would see.

Christie prosecuted the Garden State icons for using their positions to benefit themselves or their cronies, a long-standing tradition in NJ--one politicians practiced with impunity.

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p. xi-xii , Jun 5, 2012

2002-2006: uncovered $800M in medical kickbacks to doctors

2002-2006: uncovered $800M in medical kickbacks to doctors The nation learned a lot about the medical industry's darker side when Christie initiated an investigation into potential kickbacks to doctors from the sellers of hip and knee replacements. A trusting public took it for granted that physicians always did 2002-2006: uncovered $800M in medical kickbacks to doctors Federal officials said hip and knee companies paid out about $800 million to doctors from 2002 through 2006.

Four of the top hip and knee replacement companies agreed to pay $311 million to settle the probe. A 5th company, which had cooperated,

Source: Rise to Power, by B. Ingle & M. Symons, p.109-110 , Jun 5, 2012

$159M for community health centers for the most vulnerable

Underscoring the Administration's commitment to quality health services for New Jersey's most vulnerable, Gov. Christie today kicked off National Health Center Week. Said Gov. Christie. "These centers offer affordable, high-quality care to residents and families in need. I am proud of the strong support my Administration has provided for community health centers in the budget--$113 million in Medicaid and $46.4 million for the uninsured. With this assistance, we are making sure the people and communities who rely on these services lead healthy lives now and in the future."

The Governor also signed a proclamation recognizing this week as National Health Center Week in honor of the comprehensive medical and dental care community health centers have been providing for more than 40 years. The theme of this year's National Health Center Week is "Celebrating America's Health Centers: Serving Locally, Leading Nationally."

Source: 2011 gubernatorial press release, "Most Vulnerable" , Aug 8, 2011

3.2% funding increase for National Institutes of Health.

Christie signed Letter from 24 Governors to leaders in Congress

NIH, as well as the indirect job benefits of laboratories needing space, supplies, services, and equipment. We are also deeply aware that NIH-funded discoveries are the basis of new companies and even new industries in our communities.

NIH research is an instrumental part of the success of the US life sciences industry and its 6 million high-wage US jobs. Moreover, follow-on life science research advances are now stimulating new jobs and new solutions in green energy, agriculture, the environment and industrial manufacturing. NIH funding enables the scientific talent and discoveries that are at the heart of this vast array of economic activity.

As you develop the Congressional Budget Resolution, we urge you to enable the 3.2% funding increase for NIH contained in the President's budget request. We thank you for your past support for biomedical research and ask you to craft a budget resolution that accommodates the President's $32.2 billion FY 2011 NIH budget request.

The greatest contribution NIH makes is to the health and well-being of Americans. Past federal investments in medical research, combined with those from the private sector, have led to improved health, better quality of life, and improved productivity of millions of patients and their families.

But NIH is also an important national, regional, and local economic engine. Together, our states received more than $19 billion from the NIH last year for promising research efforts. NIH funding directly supports 350,000 jobs across the US. In our states, we see firsthand the world class research institutions and scientific teams enabled by

Source: Letter from 24 Governors to leaders in Congress 100413-Gov on Apr 13, 2010

Loosen "one-size-fits-all" approach to Medicaid.

Christie signed Letter to Pres. Obama from 32 Governors

As Governors, we are writing to you regarding the excessive constraints placed on us by healthcare-related federal mandates. One of our biggest concerns continues to be the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which prevent states from managing their Medicaid programs for their unique Medicaid populations. We ask for your immediate action to remove these MOE requirements so that states are once again granted the flexibility to control their program costs and make necessary budget decisions.

Every Governor, Republican and Democrat, will face unprecedented budget challenges in the coming months. Efforts to regulate state operations impose greater uncertainty on our budgets for oncoming years and create a perfect storm when coupled with the current state of the economy.

Health and education are the primary cost drivers for most state budgets. Medicaid enrollment is up. Revenues are down. States are unable to afford the current Medicaid program, yet our hands are tied by the MOE requirements. The effect of the federal requirements is unconscionable; the federal requirements force Governors to cut other critical state programs, such as education, in order to fund a "one-size-fits-all" approach to Medicaid. Again, we ask you to lift the MOE requirements so that states may make difficult budget decisions in ways that reflect the needs of their residents.

Source: Letter to Obama from 32 Governors 110107-Gov on Jan 7, 2011

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Page last updated: Aug 16, 2015