On Thursday, May 12, Governor Christie vetoed A2171/S1393, the New Jersey Health Benefit Exchange Act. The governor waited until the last day to exercise his veto power, and up until that time, individuals and organizations in support and opposition to the bill were unsure what his decision would be.

There has been a great deal of commentary on Governor Christie’s veto of A2171, but the Governor provided an explanation of his actions on his page. I give credit to the governor for his diplomacy when he refers to the “significant public debate and discourse” that occurred during the federal government’s passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Congress went out of their way to suppress debate on the bill and rush it through, complete with hastily scribbled hand corrections. As Nancy Pelosi put it, we had to pass it before we found out what was in it…but I digress.

While Tenthers, and anyone else concerned about the Constitution, are justified in applauding the governor’s veto, we should also remain vigilant. Nowhere in the governor’s explanation did he say that the individual mandate, or further federal expansion into health care, or federal involvement in health care to begin with, was unconstitutional. He did not say he would veto a reintroduced, modified version of the New Jersey Health Benefit Exchange Act if the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the PPACA constitutional later this year, which is a possibility.

Contact Governor Christie if you have not done so already. Thank him for his veto of A2171, and urge him to veto any and all further legislation that would surrender our state sovereignty, whether on matters of health care or anything else. In addition, contact your state legislators if you believe our health care, and much more specifically our health insurance system, needs reform. That is where the debate should have been in the first place. Let them know you’ll be watching them to see what they do, and that they won’t be able to pass a 2,000 page bill on us like Congress did. Remind them that they represent and are accountable to you, not Washington, D.C.

Benjamin W. Mankowski, Sr.

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