After four years of criticizing Obamacare, Republicans such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal have decided it’s time to start offering solutions.
Jindal’s plan lacks details, but his goal is precise: make health care simpler and more affordable. He explains:
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.
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.
He wants to allow individuals to buy health care across state lines, reform Medicaid, and give seniors more choices.
So everyone’s asking, “Can this work?” Without the details it is hard to predict, but one thing is certain: A full repeal of Obamacare will now result in millions of re-cancelled plans. It’s not the question of whether it’s possible to repeal Obamacare, but whether it’s prudent if it isn’t replaced with anything.
Yes, 7.1 million new enrollees is a faulty stat. But regardless, millions of Americans have new health plans because of Obamacare. Many of these people already suffered because they lost their first plan due to this bureaucratic disaster. To repeal the law now would mean upsetting millions of health plans all over again.
It’s not time to stop emphasizing Obamacare’s flaws, but it is time to start explaining what we can do to solve the problems. Partisan rhetoric sounds great, but if it doesn’t bring about tangible change, Americans will only end up more disillusioned with Congress.
There’s “a time to break down, and a time to build up.”
Jindal’s plan isn’t flawless, but at least he brought something to the table. If every congressman followed his lead and discussed solutions, including or excluding the full repeal of Obamacare, we might actually take ground and see results.
One thing Jindal definitely got right: If we want to win in 2014, “we can’t just run against Obamacare.”