New Jerseyans like to do things a little differently, don’t like to be told what to do or think, and have a hard time towing the line.
And Republican Gov. Chris Christie is no different. Maybe, that’s why he broke the line with presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s position on the individual mandate that’s part of the health care law, upheld by the Supreme Court June 28. Romney’s team is calling the individual mandate an “"unconstitutional penalty.”
"I've thought all along that it was a tax," Christie said Tuesday on 'Fox and Friends.' "And I don't think it's exclusively a tax or a penalty -- it's both."
But Christie isn’t the only Republican calling the individual mandate a tax. House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, among other Republicans, believe the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate under Congress’ power to tax the American people.
“There's no question that it's both, it's meant to penalize people and it is a tax, there's no doubt, because they have to pay for a government program," Christie said Tuesday on Fox & Friends.
There’s no official word on when the health care law’s insurance exchanges would be implemented in New Jersey, or who would be responsible for running it. Christie said the state has two options – they can do it, or turn it over to the federal government, according to Fox and Friends. He’ll consider both options, vying for the most cost-effective for New Jersey.
Other Republican governors, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, are already saying they will no implement the exchanges in their states; hoping the law will be repealed.
“The American people did not want or approve of Obamacare then, and they do not now,” Jindal said in a statement released immediately following the June 28 Supreme Court ruling.” Americans oppose it because it will decrease the quality of health care in America, raise taxes, cut Medicare, and break the bank. All of this is still true. Republicans must drive hard toward repeal; this is no time to go weak in the knees.”