Jindal's healthcare reform plan is blueprint to ending ObamaCare mess

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has released a comprehensive healthcare reform plan that ends the ObamaCare mess while ensuring protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

President Obama's victory celebration upon reaching 7 million sign-ups for ObamaCare by March 31 provides the perfect backdrop for Jindal's comprehensive healthcare plan that dramatically increases competitive incentives for insurers, reforms medical malpractice laws and restores patient healthcare choices.

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While Obama is attempting to create a sense of acceptance of the current healthcare law using the 7 million sign-ups as a signal that it is a fait accompli, opponents of the law would be remiss to back down. Counted among the formerly uninsured is a married California man and his wife who were without health insurance until he was forced to purchase it. Now, to pay the $1,000 a month premium with a $5,000 per person deductible policy he was compelled to buy, his wife is raising rates on her home-based business clients, and the family is making major cuts in an already threadbare budget. Somehow I don't expect this family or others like them to vote for those responsible for keeping ObamaCare intact.

Into this political environment, Jindal offers a repeal of ObamaCare, replacing it with the type of healthcare alternative that reforms many of the underlying problems that led to the ObamaCare mistake in the first place.

Jindal's plan makes this point clearly, stating that "Repealing all of Obamacare is a good and necessary step — but not one sufficient by itself to achieve the real health reform America needs. The President was right about one thing: American health care did need reform. But Obamacare did not 'reform' American health care, so much as it took a dysfunctional system and made it dramatically worse."

The Jindal plan itself is built around three pillars designed to return control of the healthcare system back to doctors and patients: lowering healthcare costs both for individuals and for the government, protecting the most vulnerable Americans including those with pre-existing conditions and disabilities, and ensuring health insurance portability and choice.

Jindal, a health policy expert, takes this last point to heart, asserting that existing law "may actually detract from efforts to protect those who need health care most. The law provides a more sizable federal match for states to expand their Medicaid programs to childless adults than it does for states to cover individuals with disabilities."

He continues, "At a time when more than half a million Americans with disabilities are on state waiting lists waiting to qualify for long-term supports and services, it is both uncompassionate and unfair for the [Obama] Administration instead to focus on covering childless adults, most of whom are able to work or prepare for work."

Republicans and free-market advocates are often cast as being uncaring toward the needs of the least of these by those whose policies perpetuate poverty. Jindal's comprehensive healthcare plan answers this charge by protecting the most vulnerable among us while restoring the market principles that our previously vibrant healthcare system was built upon.

Manning (@rmanning957) is vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government. Contact him at rmanning@getliberty.org.

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