Bobby Jindal’s Blueprint for Health Care Reform

By Marguerite Bowling

This morning, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal released a 23-page health reform plan that would repeal the current health law known as Obamacare and replace it with a series of market-based reforms.

“Repealing all of Obamacare is a good and necessary step—but not one sufficient by itself to achieve the real health reform America needs,” said the three-page executive summary of Jindal’s plan.

Jindal, who told The Foundry last week he was thinking about a presidential run in 2016, said his plan would lower health care costs, protect the most vulnerable members of society, and offer more insurance choice and portability—all while avoiding the mandates and requirements that are part of Obamacare.

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Among the reforms, Jindal proposes:

  • Changing the tax code to give all individuals the same standard deduction for health insurance;
  • Creating a grant pool of $100 billion over 10 years that would allow states to create insurance exchanges with greater flexibility than the ones available through Obamacare;
  • Guaranteeing people with pre-existing conditions access to the new state exchanges;
  • Strengthening conscience protections for businesses and medical providers as well as restricting federal funding of abortions;
  • Introducing a premium support system into Medicare, the federal health program for seniors and the disabled; and
  • Allowing Americans to buy insurance across state lines.

Nina Owcharenko, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, said Jindal’s plan reinforces that conservative lawmakers have a long-established record of providing policy ideas for health reform. Owcharenko notes that:

The plan offers a constructive blueprint for getting health care reform back on track. Of course, while the scope and technical details may vary, the Jindal plan, like other conservative alternative proposals, moves health care toward more patient-centered, market-based health care and away from the government-centered, regulatory approach of Obamacare.

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