Jindal to GOP: Time To Say ‘Here’s What We’re For’
In interviews Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Republicans need to lay out their own plans for health reform, rather than just rejecting Democratic proposals..
"I think now is the perfect time to pivot and to say, not only heres what we're against, and not only here's how we're going to contrast ourselves, but here's what we're for," he told Politico. The GOP has been slow to claim positions on health care for years to its own "peril and the nation's peril," he said. Compromise may be possible, too, he said, though if a deal is reached "the bases aren't going to be happy."
"The governor, who has downplayed talk that he could be a presidential contender in 2012, ticked off what he said could be areas of consensus between the two parties to address the issue: coverage of pre-existing conditions, access across state lines and between jobs, funding for electronic medical records, malpractice reform, Medicare and Medicaid reform, and expanding health-savings accounts and insurance purchasing pools" (Martin, 9/30).
In a separate interview on FOX News, Jindal spelled out some of his own bipartisan, budget neutral reform priorities: "Why not take some of the money we're spending on DSH, the Disproportionate Share program, on Medicaid, and help people through refundable tax credits actually afford their health care, working Americans that can't afford health care today. Instead of just running and expanding government-run programs, make it more affordable for them to access the private care, private insurance market," he said (Cavuto, 9/29).
Meanwhile, at the Nevada Republican Party headquarters in Las Vegas, a small group of protestors decried the GOP's "obstructionist stance" on reform, the Las Vegas Sun reports. "The time for small fixes and Band-Aids is over Americans want fundamental change in the way health insurance is administered," one protestor, a doctor, said. A Republican gubernatorial candidate countered that "It's not that Republicans have been inactive Republicans have come to the table with other ideas to enact meaningful and comprehensive reform (Twitchell, 9/29)."
In some conservative districts with senior, incumbent Democratic representatives, Republicans are gaining traction by using their support for President Obama's ambitious domestic agenda against them, Politico reports in another story. Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., for instance, voted for a House health reform proposal including a public option, a vote Republican strategists hope to exploit (Kraushaar, 9/30).