Washington: President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law should be “repealed”, Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has said as he unveiled his own proposal that he claimed would provide better coverage for uninsured Americans.
Dismissing the Obama administration’s jubilation over seven million sign-ups for the President’s glitch-prone health coverage, he said: “So what that under the threat of a government mandate they are able to get to this target of 7.1 million?”.
“Forget for a minute, by the way, we don’t even know what those numbers mean,” Jindal said. “We don’t know how many of the folks actually pay their premiums. We don’t know how may of those folks were previously uninsured.”
The Obama administration lost two months of sign-up time to disastrous glitches with the Healthcare.gov website late last year, drawing public criticism for delaying enrollments.
Jindal was speaking to reporters yesterday at a Washington breakfast event, where he revealed his own health care proposal that he claimed would lower costs and make insurance more affordable while giving states more control.
“We should absolutely repeal the law,” 42-year-old Jindal was quoted as saying by CNN. But while calling for a full dismantling of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, he warned Republicans against running against Obamacare without offering a concrete plan to replace it.
“There are too many Republicans in this town that say we can run against Obamacare and not say anything else more specific until November because that’s a winning strategy,” said Jindal, who is widely being seen as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016. “Look, there may be short term tactical reasons that makes sense to a lot of folks, but I think that’s wrong.
If we want to earn the right to be in the majority, we have to be the party of specific ideas.”
Jindal’s health care plan, released under the auspices of his policy group, America Next, would set aside a pool of more than USD 100 billion for states to experiment with health care policy.
He proposed instituting a standard tax deduction for health insurance, promoting the use of health saving accounts to help consumers pay their premiums, and reducing Medicare costs by providing vouchers for seniors to purchase insurance.
Coverage for pre-existing conditions would be guaranteed, he said.
Democrats were quick to pick apart Jindal’s proposals.
“Jindal’s plan is nothing more than a rehash of failed Republican ideas that have been – and will continue to be – rejected by the voters,” said Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin.
About 50 million Americans lacked health care coverage as the law began taking effect in 2010, and supporters of the Obamacare law hope it will reduce the number of uninsured Americans.