Skip to main content

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, at campaign event for presidential candidate John McCain in Kenner, Louisiana. Date    4 June 2008
Republican ex-heartthrob Bobby Jindal's periodic attempts to recapture relevance are so adorable. Looky here, now he has his very own health care reform plan. It consists primarily of talking points, garnished with a side of ideas already proven terrible.
The plan I’m endorsing includes an innovative $100 billion grant program that incentivizes our “laboratories of democracy”—the states—to come up with insurance reforms and other solutions that can stem the rising tide of health costs. States’ eligibility for the grants would be tied to their ability to lower insurance premiums for their citizens.

We include other reforms in our plan too -- tax equity between employer and individually-purchased health plans, lawsuit reform, wellness incentives, and new incentives for Health Savings Accounts.

So we've got Free Money To The States, since everyone knows deep-red states have been doing a bang-up job of protecting their citizens' health over these last decades, and "lawsuit" reform, and—ugh, Health Savings Accounts. As someone who once had one, let me just note here that Health Savings Accounts need to die in a fire. For those of you with no experience in that particular clusterfudge of conservative financial sector skim-enabling hoo-ha, think of it as the equivalent of privatizing Social Security, except Social Security is now your gall bladder. And whatever else you've got.
These reforms have proven track records of success -- and analysis from top economists to back them up.
Except they don't, because in the long history of the before-times before Obamacare Republicans were perfectly free to do all of those things and yet the problem of accessible and even marginally affordable health care managed to spiral to crisis levels regardless. This is (1) because conservatives have fought every effort at reforming health care in the modern era, proposing "reform" after "reform" only in opposition to concrete reforms proposed by the other side, then dropping them again when the threat of true reform has passed, and (2) because several of the token efforts that have been tried or that conservatives have been most obsessed with—for example "lawsuit" reform—have not and will never make more than a token dent in the overall problem of access and affordability. Ever.
Our plan’s state grant program requires states applying for grants to guarantee access for individuals with pre-existing conditions. A state could guarantee access through a high-risk pool, through reinsurance, or through some other mechanism. But our plan ensures that the most vulnerable won’t fall through the cracks, and provides $100 billion in resources that states can use to subsidize that coverage.
And yet when the federal government proposed near full federal subsidization of poorer and higher-risk state residents, i.e. the Medicaid expansion, conservative states engaged in competition to see which of them could most belligerently fend off the Free Money and keep those same citizens uninsured. The reason given was that the Free Money might turn into slightly less Free Money in the future, and also a member of the opposing party might get credit for the thing, so the conservative states decided eff the sick people—we can't take that chance. Truly, a movement dedicated to advancing citizen health and welfare. (All you need to do is look at state-by-state statistics to see which states have been doing a really ripping job of advancing health care for our citizens, and you would do Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal a very solid favor if you did not point out where Bobby Jindal's Louisiana is on that list.)

Honestly, this gets tiring. Yes, Mr. Bobby Jindal, thank you for your non-contribution to the debate, which was the same as all the other non-contributions offered up by equally insincere people who have promised that they'll get right on that whole health reform problem, for reals this time—but only if we dismantle every one of the reforms we've already put in place. We will put your little proposal on the pile, Bobby, and you get a Still Marginally Relevant lollipop. Lick sparingly, though, because that thing's gonna have to last a while.

Originally posted to Hunter on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 01:03 PM PDT.

Also republished by Louisiana Kossacks, Obamacare Saves Lives, and Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site