Democrats & Liberals Archives

Governor Bobby Jindal for Health Reform

Bobby Jindal, the outspoken Republican governor of Louisiana, who has been ranting and raving against the Democratic approach to healthcare reform, has an op-ed in the Washington Post presenting what he calls “The Conservative Case for Reform.” He sure fooled me. I thought I was reading an article by a Democrat.

In his op-ed piece, Jindal lists 10 ideas for health reform:

-- Voluntary purchasing pools
-- Portability
-- Lawsuit reform
-- Require coverage of preexisting conditions
-- Transparency and payment reform
-- Electronic medical records
-- Tax-free health savings accounts
-- Reward healthy lifestyle choices
-- Cover young adults
-- Refundable tax credits (for the uninsured and those who would benefit from greater flexibility of coverage)

Take a good look. See if you can see significant differences between what Jindal wants and what Democrats are proposing. Timothy Stoltzfus Jost can't see much difference:

First he calls for purchasing pools to allow individuals and small businesses to get better deals on health insurance—that is precisely what the exchanges are, which have been in the bill since the beginning.

Second, portability. Allowing individuals and small groups to purchase through the exchanges with affordability subsidies allows people to continue to be insured when the leave their jobs without undermining our employment-based insurance system. Requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions? Has Jindal read any of the legislation, or listened to the news about it for the past 6 months? Transparency and payment reform—that’s in the bills as well. Indeed, what Jindal is really talking about here is comparative effectiveness research. He needs to have a talk with his fellow Republicans who have been railing against CER as a devious government plot.

Electronic medical records? They are part of this bill and were in the ARRA as well. Tax-free health savings accounts? The jury is still out on whether these do much to help hold down cost, they certainly are of little value to most of the uninsured who are not looking for tax-sheltered investments but rather for health care, but the proposed legislation leaves them in place........

It's amazing that Jindal and other Republicans are so focused on destroying Obama they don't even bother reading what Democrats propose. Jindal's so-called Conservative Case looks very much like the Democratic Case. This is because everybody is suffering from our miserable healthcare system. Everybody needs change. Everybody, Democrats and Republicans, must work together to achieve decent healthcare reform that helps all Americans.

Jindal has proven that there is no need to start all over, as several Republican senators are saying. Jindal agrees with at least 90% of what has been proposed. Senate Republicans would be wise to follow his example.

Bobby Jindal does not realize what he has accomplished. He has demonstrated that there is very little disagreement between Republicans and Democrats on healthcare reform. I hope senate Republicans follow his example and get onto the healthcare-reform bandwagon.

Posted by Paul Siegel at October 6, 2009 7:32 PM
Comment #288986

Maybe this weeks Republican strategy is to agree with the democrats. They’ve done so much to make everyone think the embodiment of Obama Youth is trying to kill grandma that they’ll try and pass of the democrat’s plan as their own and be like “see, we wanted to help all along!”

Posted by: Mike Falino at October 6, 2009 7:42 PM
Comment #288997


Do the Democrats plan tort reform? And do they favor the tax free health savings accounts? These are key features. The Democrat plan indeed looks like some Republican proposals. What they differ in is choice.

President Bush proposed tort reform and health savings accounts. Did the Democrats filibuster that or just drag it down? I don’t recall.

Even among people who really disagree, they usually agree about 90% of the time, at least. It is the 10% that causes the trouble.

Posted by: Christine at October 6, 2009 9:32 PM
Comment #289005


When Jost starts his piece with the Fox News talking point he loses credibility and becomes just another member of academia that looks down on the undereducated minions of cable news (where about 1% of the population gets it news from). But back to point.

The key point that Jindal makes and Jost ignores is that Jindal, and the Republican House Plan (H.R. 3400), attempt to move us away from the employer based system and move toward an individual “owned” healthcare system. Most of the other stuff in Jindal’s list (and also in H.R. 3400) are what I call throw away issues; things like tort reform that cause some pain in the system but are secondary at best. But while the Republicans focus mainly on ending the employer based system they ignore the impact of “cost shifting” between the private plans and people who are already in a government based system (Medicare, Medicaid, SChip, VA, etc). They must view it as too politically painful to broach the subject with the seniors already obtaining benefit from Medicare.

And as Jost points out, the Democrats have been persistent in not “undermining our employment-based insurance system.” But if you take that position you can’t offer your real solution, single payer, because that definitely undermines it. What to do? Try to pass “comprehensive” health care reform that ignores 160m paying customers all the while trying to convince seniors that their current Medicare plan is not going to change. Democrats think there is too much political pain in promoting single payer, so instead they play the game of “kick the can” and hope no one calls them on it. No wonder there is so much skepticism.

We can’t keep what we have because the two systems combined can not contain cost or make the hard decisions that sometimes must be made. And too many people fall through the divide. Take the “ownership” idea from the Republicans, combine it with the politically painful reform of Medicare and the other government programs, and you have a comprehensive solution. Or bite the other political bullet and lets go single payer. 1 in 3 are already in the government’s system and if we live long enough we will all get there anyway. But neither side is showing political courage, and trying to score points from a position of cowardice is really just a waste of time.

Posted by: George at October 7, 2009 10:11 AM
Comment #289008

There’s a hell of a difference between what the Democrats are wanting and what the Republicans are wanting. Although both have the potential of government taking over and running health care. It’s just the Democrat plan will get it done faster than the Republican plan.
The best reform we can get is to get both the government and insurance clean out of health care and keep it between the patient and their doctor.
We need to get folks paying for their own health care out of their pockets. This will make sure that cost come down while quality of care goes up. If folks are paying out thier oen pockets they will require quality care at a resonable price.
None of this will happen as long as insurance companies are picking up the tab for health care. And it’ll only get worse if the government gets involved.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 7, 2009 12:37 PM
Comment #289010

How about the young couple who find out they are having twins. 7 Months into the Pregnancy they have to have a C-cection for delivery and the kids put into the NICU (5K a day per child) for 2 weeks for the healthier child and 6-8 weeks for the one who was the victom of twin to twin transfer.
Do you have 250K for medical bills? I don’t, my neighbor doesn’t. So now they declare bankruptsy, how does this help the economy? more destitute people due to no insurance? Or even my case, a colapsed lung only employed for 1 month. 50K medical bill for 8 days in the hospital, emergency room visit and all the other costs. When you have an emergency you don’t go comparision shopping.
How many more cases of prostate canser would we have? Breast cancer, you do realize early detection and treatment costs a lot less then waiting 2 months so your insurance will kick in so you can go see your doctor.
Your solution seems to be let them die!
I’ll pass, I will keep my socalized medican that I recieve from the VA so that I can maybe start living a healthier life at a lower cost medically due to early detection, prevention and appropiate treatment. I can’t afford to pay $150 just to go see a doctor right now. I know a lot of people in this boat and we are lower middle class.

Posted by: timesend at October 7, 2009 2:19 PM
Comment #289012
Your solution seems to be let them die!

What an absurd hyperbolic statement…

I’ll pass, I will keep my socalized medican that I recieve from the VA so that I can maybe start living a healthier life at a lower cost medically due to early detection, prevention and appropiate treatment.

Even more so. BTW, I’m a disabled Vet, yet I won’t be spending a lot of time in the VA system because I prefer to have options and competence when it comes to my health.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 7, 2009 2:42 PM
Comment #289014

Ever hear of saving for a rainy day? Or is that beyound the comprehention of most folks these days?
When folks start paying out of their own pockets they’ll start going to health care providers that have the best care and lowest prices. This will cause other health care providers to lower their prices in order to keep patients.
With lower prices, and saving for a rainly day,that young couple will come closer to being able to afford the medical bills caused by the situation ya discibed. Maybe not all of them but instead of the bill being $250,000 most likely would be closer to $15,000 to $20,000.
I’m not going to even try to claim that you’ll ever see doctors charging $5.00 to come out to your house and treat 5 or 6 youngins includeing shots and medicine like they did when I was a snot nosed brat. But it sure won’t cost ya $80.00 to $100.00 just to see the doctor for a minute or two. Ya just might get doctors doing house calls again though.
Why is it folks don’t want to take responsibility for something they claim is important to them? Reckon maybe their healh and the health of their family aint as important as they say it is?

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 7, 2009 3:37 PM
Comment #289015

BTW timesend,
I’m a retired Veteran and I won’t go near a VA hospital. There’s a very good expamle of the mess government makes of health care. And after 20 years in service I can tell ya that military health care aint the greatest ther is either.
And speaking from experience, the only time ya get even half way compentent care in service is if your wounded in combat. And even then civilian health care is more compentent.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 7, 2009 3:49 PM
Comment #289017

Ron and Rhinhold,
I am sorry you seem to have a bad VA center near you, the Oregon ones seem to be top tier. I recieve considerably better care then what I had (none) and that is with employer provided health care due to the extremly high cost.
You solution seems to be that I should have to take hours to research which doctors do what and how much they cost. Then hope I don’t have a serious medical problem, or god forbid 2 or 3.
I ran up over a million dollars of medical bills with my daughters in the first 6 months of their lives due to 10 WEEKS in the NICU at 5k a day each, just to be in the room. That did not include X-rays, blood transfusions, Drugs, ect. Then their was the cost of driving to the hospital 2-3 times a day to visit my kids. They came home 2 had hernias, so back in for surgery (By the way the anastic provider was 6K for an hours worth of work and their is no option (monoply)). Ran out of “rainy day money” in the 6K in prenatal care for my wife, that’s before we went to the hospital. So I had no money left, I don’t make enough to come up with even low balling 10 weeks in the NICU times 3 of 250K. If you can more power to you but being in my early 30’s and making less the 50K year, trying to save for retirement plus have a little fun now, their isn’t 5-6K a year to save for medical.
Is part of your solution to also get rid of the VA, Medicare, Medical for soldiers, Medicade?
If so my ‘Let them die’ comment is not just hypoberly but FACT

Posted by: timesend at October 7, 2009 4:49 PM
Comment #289018


So, you’ve never heard of catastrophic health care I take it?

Combined with the new HSAs that rollover your contributions AND are tax deferred (the real problem with getting insurance outside of your employer) it presents the optimal way to combat the rising cost of healthcare and provides incentives for people to stay health through preventative means without having government officials, taxation and the use of the force of law involved…

You know, you do have a point though… I wonder sometimes if we should give people the option of becoming ‘wards of the state’ where the don’t get a paycheck but someone else makes their decisions for them, including what to eat and where to go to the doctor…

Then those of us who can take care of ourselves, appreciate personal responsibilty and don’t expect others to take care of us and our mistakes can still have that option.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 7, 2009 8:30 PM
Comment #289019
You solution seems to be that I should have to take hours to research which doctors do what and how much they cost.

My god, we can’t have people doing THAT now, can we?

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 7, 2009 8:32 PM
Comment #289020

Despite Jindal’s really, really terrible national address earlier this year, it’s worth noting that he was (hopefully is) a rising star in the Republican Party partly because he’s intelligent and one of the less confrontational voices. If there is a case to be made for any kind of Republican rule I hope that someone of his intellect and temperament is part of that, even if he disagree with many Republican policies. At least I feel that he has the country’s interests at heart, which is more than can be said for Palin, Huckabee et al.

Posted by: Jonathan Rice at October 7, 2009 8:56 PM
Comment #289023

Let’s talk about all the new investigations of ACORN. Investigating everywhere. There was a lot of defending of ACORN by libs on this site. Are the defenders still out there?

Posted by: beretta9 at October 7, 2009 9:42 PM
Comment #289027

Check with ACORN defender Michael Steele. You might have heard of him. He is Chairman of the Republican Party.

Posted by: phx8 at October 7, 2009 11:19 PM
Comment #289028

“everybody is suffering from our miserable healthcare system”

I’m not. I take care of my own health. I walk the length of a marathon every week, and work hard even on my days off. I am aware of my own body’s capabilities and limitations, and know what foods to eat and what to avoid.

If everyone put money into “saving for a rainy day”, our economy, which is based on people buying junk on credit, would never recover.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 8, 2009 12:08 AM
Comment #289033

I went to an emergency room a few weeks ago. It was to a private hospital.

I have Blue Cross insurance.

After being asked about my name, personal info and medical history six times, by six different people, a nurse that apparently was to diagnose my condition appeared. She listened to my story, again.

I had a middle ear infection, and my personal doctor was too booked up to see me. I’ve had some problems with this most of my adult life.(both booked up doctors and ear infections)

I took some antibiotics I had around the house in an attempt to stop this early, but they clearly weren’t strong enough.

So after all this, the nurse returned with the same prescription I was already taking and had informed her of. I scowled and said this will not work. “You can come back in two days if this doesn’t work”, she replied. I stated I did not want to come back in two days, and asked her had she heard what I told her? I further informed her I wasn’t an idiot and this was clearly an inadequate prescription. She went back to the doctor and came back with a higher dose, and a bad attitude, telling me I had caused an antibiotic resistant strain by not using all my antibiotics six or seven months previously. I looked at her and asked if she really thought I had this infection going on for six or seven months. I didn’t appreciate her misinformation.

She didn’t answer, just said I was the expert and walked off.

Must have been that superior private health care.

My point is doctors and hospitals screw up all the time. There is no substitute for being an aware consumer. This nonsense that the VA is horrible isn’t born out in the data. Yes, there is incompetence all around.

Posted by: gergle at October 8, 2009 7:18 AM
Comment #289037

The VA hosptials, Medicare, Medicade, real good exapmles of govetnment run health care.
And y’all want to let the government run the whole country’s health care?

Sorry to hear about your problems with your daughters. Hope both are very healthy now.

Take you experiences with your doctors and the nurse and multiply it by say 1,000. Thats how bad it’ll get if the government starts running health care.
Reckon ya aint never been to a VA hospital. I’ve been to more than one, 4 or 5 in different parts of the country. And they all have been lousy.

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 8, 2009 10:18 AM
Comment #289038
I took some antibiotics I had around the house…

Your nurse is right. You should always finish antibiotics and NOT have any around the house. Taking a few just makes matters worse and contributes to the antibiotic resistant bugs development. She gets angry because these are so hard to treat.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 8, 2009 10:31 AM
Comment #289039

g, you should also clean your ears regularly with carbamide peroxide, although regular peroxide also works and has fewer ingredients that may cause problems. Lay on your side and put half a capful in one ear and let it bubble for a while. Then clean with a piece of cotton, turn on your other side and do the same thing for the other ear.

Womanmarine knows what she’s talking about.

Posted by: ohrealy at October 8, 2009 11:23 AM
Comment #289040

Thanks, for the comment on the daughters.
All three are doing great now, we are not doing their 2 year accessment due to it being $600 each. This is too much of a burden for our family. So we will not be provided with a comprehensive analysis to make sure that they are developing properly by a qualified medical person.

Posted by: timesend at October 8, 2009 12:17 PM
Comment #289311


Your nurse is right. You should always finish antibiotics and NOT have any around the house. Taking a few just makes matters worse and contributes to the antibiotic resistant bugs development. She gets angry because these are so hard to treat.

Actually, if I was to contract a super infection it would be right after taking not enough antibiotics, which they initially tried to prescribe to me. What she said was scientifically incorrect. You don’t create magical bacteria that wait around six months to infect you. I do take antibiotics past the time any detectable infection is around. Taking it beyond that point is not a good idea, just lazy medicine and/or stupid adherence to a rule of thumb.

If you’ve ever had an ear infection, you know how painful it can be. Unfortunately, one cannot always see a doctor immediately. I believe in the UK pharmacists may prescribe some medications, which would be a good idea here to ameliorate such issues, until you can get an appointment. Letting an infection do it’s damage when it can be stopped early is just dumb.

Posted by: gergle at October 13, 2009 8:30 PM
Comment #289312


No, she actually doesn’t. Read above. I do regularly clean my ears with ear wax remover, as you suggest. I’ve had this issue, since my 20’s I’m in my 50’s now. Do ya think an MD might have come up with a course of treatment, that would be preventative if there were one? I’ve even seen specialists. Actually the best doctor I ever encountered was a pediatrician who took the time to actually look at and treat the condition rather than just throw antibiotics at me. Often I need topical otic corticosteroids to reduce irritations, but getting that out of a regular MD these days is a pain. They won’t pre-prescribe anything.

Posted by: gergle at October 13, 2009 8:37 PM
Comment #289315


So you believe magically all the good doctors will flee the country or simply retire if public health insurance comes about? Really?

I know it’s popular to bad mouth the VA, and I’m sure there are poorly run institutions, just like there are poorly run private hospitals. I know of a chain in Dallas, that finally got shut down due to lawsuits and one near Houston that has had a bad rep for years. When I went there with appendicitis, my internist told me to leave and go to a Hospital he worked out of. He told me later that the resident he spoke to didn’t seem to know what he was looking at. BTW, my appendix had ruptured.

Posted by: gergle at October 13, 2009 8:46 PM
Comment #289347

Just when did I even sugest that the good doctors would retire or leave the country?
But sense ya mentioned it I’ve talked to one doctor that says he’ll retire if we get national health care. And if one feels that way, how many more do?

Posted by: Ron Brown at October 14, 2009 3:38 PM
Comment #289350


Talk is cheap. If you’re old and rich, or even young and rich, I suppose one may retire. One of my doctors had pictures of him and GWB all over his office, but we never discussed politics. Yes, doctors will likely do worse under socialized medicine, yet a large number are for a single payer system. I’m not really sure that I want a doctor whose primary concern is his wallet, though.

I’m not sure what I was responding to now…sorry if I attributed something to you that wasn’t there.

Posted by: gergle at October 14, 2009 5:05 PM
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