Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Chris Christie’s ‘Pants on Fire’ draws chilly responses from NJ.com readers

PolitiFact New Jersey readers react differently to Gov. Chris Christie's first Pants on Fire ruling.
PolitiFact New Jersey readers react differently to Gov. Chris Christie's first Pants on Fire ruling.

Gov. Chris Christie received his first Pants on Fire ruling Sunday for calling the national health care reform a "government takeover," but the reaction among some readers was anything but warm.

The ruling attracted more than 50 comments on NJ.com and a couple of emails from readers eager to weigh in on how PolitiFact New Jersey evaluated Christie’s description. That’s not even counting the more than 130 comments posted to PolitiFact National’s Facebook page.

Some readers, such as one user named BumpsDad, agreed with our assessment.

"Since Medicare has been around since the 1960's, is one of the major payers, and sets the tone for how/what private insurers cover (and how much they pay) you can't say that ‘obamacare’ is getting the gov't into the healthcare business, or taking it over," BumpsDad wrote on NJ.com.

Several other readers disagreed, saying that the health care reform is a government takeover.

"Of course it's a government take over of health care!" a user named Parker_Einstein wrote on NJ.com. "In the beginning it's only a mandate for companies to provide it (a major job killer for those of you who have not awoken to that fact yet), a personal mandate (which is unconstitutional) and access to your electronic health records.

"In the end, it's gamed to push the private insurance companies out of business and leave the government standing as the only source for your health insurance."

A reader from Westfield in Union County told us in an email that he reads our website every day and enjoys it, but on this ruling, we are "WAY off base."

"The government is definitely taking over health care," the reader wrote. "So it no longer is insurance, it is welfare. And no ins company will be able to stay in business. The words ‘mandate’ and ‘prohibit’ are your clues. It is most certainly a government  takeover and Politifacts has lost all credibility."

In another email, a reader from Florida acknowledged how the reform doesn’t specifically call for a government takeover, but given the pending cost increases for insurance companies, such a takeover will likely be the final outcome.

"Once the plan gets in motion and their costs start going up they will either raise their rates to a point it drives people away or they get out of the business. As an example, look what State Farm did with homeowners insurance in Florida when hurricanes and future threats of hurricanes drove their costs up," the reader wrote to us. "The same could happen to health care. When/if this happens, all that is left is government."

Other NJ.com users seemed disappointed with the health care reform itself.

joiseydude wrote: "It may not be a Govt takeover, but it is not real reform either. While some folks at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder may like the coverage they will get, the rest of us get to pay for that, and get NO real cost savings anywhere."

To comment on this story, go to NJ.com.