Jindal gets a clue, endorses Democrats’ health care reform bill

by Karoli on October 5, 2009 · 13 comments

Bobby Jindal’s remarkable article in today’s Washington Post makes a conservative case for health reform by outlining a 10-point plan that looks very much like the plan that President Obama outlined in his September speech to the joint session of Congress back in September.

Let’s compare:

  1. Voluntary Purchasing Pools. Check. In the Democrats’ bill, they’re called “the Exchange”.
  2. Portability. Check.
  3. Lawsuit reform. No, this isn’t in the Democrats’ health care reform bills, but it is on the agenda. Let’s not forget, lawsuits (aka torts) cover a universe far wider and deeper than health claims. While it’s surely something to consider, it’s also a dense issue that would have to be coordinated with states’ rules on lawsuits. (And let’s not forget, tort reform has done little to keep health insurance costs down in states that have adopted it.)
  4. Required coverage of pre-existing conditions. Check.
  5. Transparency and payment reform. Check.
  6. Electronic medical records. Check.
  7. Tax-free health savings accounts. Nope, these aren’t part of the Democrats’ plan. Why? Because they only work for the very rich and those who don’t really care if Wall Street steals half of them while Congress turns its head during Republican administrations.
  8. Reward healthy lifestyle choices. Check, though premium rebates are not the reward in the Democrats’ plan. The entire plan focuses around wellness rather than sickness.
  9. Cover young adults by allowing them to remain on parents’ plan longer. Check.
  10. Refundable tax credits for the uninsured to obtain insurance. Check.

8 out of Jindal’s 10 are already in the President’s plan and the variations wending their way toward a merge process. Of course, at the end he spouts some nonsense about not forcing people into a government-run system, but that particular provision is nowhere to be found in any of the current proposals. The only plan with a personal mandate (and no employer mandate) is the Baucus plan — the only one without a public option at this time.

Jindal’s article makes it clear that conservatives agree with how we’re proceeding on health care reform. It looks like Democrats made a serious effort to bring conservative principles into play where they could as a proxy for the demagogues in Congress who decided stonewalling is the way to reform our health care system.

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  • Strem2

    HI, and thanks for your informative Twitters! I have been reading Thom Hartmann's book Cracking the Code, and find it so helpful. Thought you and your readers might also.

  • jarstfer

    Health care savings accounts tax free should be available to all with a cut off that is reasonable – for example $4500 a year. Right now I think they are available only through employers. I take advantage and it saves my family $1000 or so a year.

  • http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/ Karoli

    No, you're confusing two different things. There are HSA accounts —
    where you can put in up to 2500 and let it accumulate, and there are
    FSA accounts where you choose not to be paid a certain amount and then
    use those funds as reimbursement. No one is proposing that FSA
    accounts go away. Only the HSA accounts, which are sold as a companion
    to high-deductible insurance policies and bank on the hope that you
    won't get sick or need to dip into them for oh…20 or so years.
    (that's how long it would take, assuming Wall Street didn't take
    another cut) to accumulate an account substantial enough to deal with
    illness.

  • Joe McCarthy

    If this health care plan going through congress is such a good idea why is there jail time and fines for those who don't want to participate in it?

    None of this will matter anyway if Saudi Arabia is successful in taking down the dollar. There's a lot going on in other areas besides this health care control bill that will make it's passage inconsequential.

    Look in to what obama gave away in the G20 meeting.

    Madeline Albright's wishes are coming true. We're evening the playing field with the world, but not by raising the world to our level, we're sinking into 3rd world status fast.

    Global government is just a short reach away. Thanks libs.

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  • http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/ Karoli

    Jail time? It sounds to me like you've been fed a very large helping
    of bull. Jail time is not a penalty for not participating. The money
    penalty is to compensate for the fact that those who opt out, will
    ultimately tax the system when they are ill.

    Have a great day, Joe.

  • Huey G

    If I'm not mistaken the bill includes huge fines and/or jail time if you are assessed a surcharge for not participating and you fail to pay the surcharge.

  • http://www.drumsnwhistles.com/ Karoli

    well, there is no bill at the moment. Only committee versions which
    have yet to be merged. However, I did not see where jail time was part
    of the deal. You'd have to point me to some actual text from the
    Senate or House committees, because I am not finding it.

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