On June 14, 2010 there was a hearing of the NJ Senate’s Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee chaired by Senator Loretta Wineberg.
The main topic was NJ Senate Concurrent Resolution 108 (SCR 108) sponsored by Senator Ray Lesniak, which urged the Governor not to join any lawsuit against the enforcement of the new federal heath care act, euphemistically called Obamacare.
The resolution makes numerous claims over its six pages, which tout “Obamacare” as the second coming of a new era of Health care Reform, alluding to something as dynamic and along the lines of our Declaration of Independence. Clearly the benefits are overstated.
Of course, none of the claims in the resolution are provable either. The claims are akin to a woman who has been married to an economist for 5 years and is still a virgin. When asked how that would be possible her answer was. “well it’s because he keeps telling me how good it is GOING TO BE!.
It appears that federal health care act is suffering the same fate in New Jersey that the Arizona immigration law is suffering in Washington; no one has read the bill or fully comprehends what is in the bill in the first place.. Of course 2000 + pages does not lend itself to what would be considered a quick read.
Federally, the Office of Management and Budget has indicated the actual cost of Obamacare to be in excess of 1 Trillion dollars. Yes, that is a “T” for Trillion.
New Jersey has it’s own version of OMB, it is called OLS, the Office of Legislative Services.
Every time any bill is presented to the New Jersey legislature for consideration, if it has any fiscal implication, it is accompanied by what is called a fiscal note so that the members of the legislature have an idea as to how much taxpayer money they may be spending.
So, if NJ has a tool of this magnitude, why not use it? Well one reason is that a Concurrent Resolution is not a bill so while it does not call for a fiscal note, why not ask for one anyway in order to eliminate the partisan political nonsense that always accompanies major legislative initiative.. And, any good bill or resolution should garner votes from both parties in order to move forward. Unfortunately, that was not the case with SCR 108, because it was voted out of committee in a totally partisan manner with only Democrat votes.
Bottom line: No one in NJ will ever know how much Obamacare may cost New Jersey’s residents because apparently in this case, the “Will of the Legislature” is to keep everyone in the dark. Terrific, even with a new Governor, it is still business as usual.