Medved interviews Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

By Neal McNamara | April 10, 2014
Jindal

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is a star in the Republican Party, known for his upstanding conservative ideals, and reputation in his home state as a reformer. A former U.S. Congressman, Jindal won election as governor in 2007. His current term expires in 2015, leaving him time to focus on a possible run for president in 2016.

Jindal spoke to Michael Medved on Wednesday about his new health care plan to replace Obamacare, and about what it might take to run for president in 2016.

Listen to the whole interview with Bobby Jindal from the Wednesday Michael Medved show.

Michael Medved: I was particularly eager to talk to you about what I consider your very exciting alternative to Obamacare. This is not just a few tweaks around the edges of the president’s failed program; it’s a very different program.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: I start off by saying we need to repeal and replace Obamacare. It’s not enough to make small changes to it. My background is in healthcare policy. I think the president needs to stop saying that conservatives don’t have an alternative. We’ve brought about a detailed plan with 16 different proposals. We talk about decreasing the role of federal government and insurance bureaucrats. We talk about giving power back to patients and doctors. We help encourage states to innovate rather than a one-size fits all approach. The most important thing we do is drive down costs. One analysis shows it would reduce premiums by $5,000. We help people buy their healthcare so they don’t have to buy it through employers. We give them the tax advantage deduction so they can buy it on their own, buy it across state lines.

Medved: How does this plan deal with what the president initially defined as the biggest problem in American healthcare, which is the fact that there’s some 45 to 50 million people who don’t have insurance? What would this plan do because it does not have an individual mandate? It does not have a law stating you must buy health insurance. How would this deal with the uninsured?

Jindal: The problem with Obamacare is it forces people to buy insurance they may not want. There’s a reason why most of the people in exchanges were previously uninsured. Right now, you don’t get tax advantage treatment if you don’t buy your healthcare from your employer. If your employer doesn’t offer healthcare, you pay more. We give you a standard deduction so you take it with you across jobs, across state lines. Second, we expand the use of health savings accounts, so you can use those accounts to pay for premiums right now. We allow you to vary the deductible in a way the current law doesn’t allow you to.

Medved: There’s all this talk now about the battle for the soul of the Republican Party, and it’s often defined as a battle between the so-called establishment and the so-called tea party. You aren’t clearly identified with either side. Do you believe that all this talk about the civil war and the Republican Party is overplayed, overdone?

Jindal: There’s a great civil war going on in the Democratic Party – the media doesn’t want to cover it. We’ve got the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio waging war on successful charter schools. You’ve got a Democratic governor trying to stop him from doing that. You’ve got Democrats trying to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. You’ve got other Democrats like Joe Manchin in West Virginia and other Democrats in the south saying, ‘Well, maybe we shouldn’t be putting coal plants out of business.’ I think the ideological extremes in the Democratic Party have taken over the party through the Obama administration, whether it’s the Environmental Protection Agency on regulation and cracking down on domestic oil and gas production, or whether it’s trying to create obstacles to employment through small businesses. The left is bankrupt of ideas. It’s the same old tax and spend and borrow. As conservatives, we need to show folks there’s a way, a conservative path forward that creates good paying jobs.

Medved: Concentrating on 2016 for a moment, what’s the main thing Republicans should avoid leading up to and after that; what’s the main thing Republicans should concentrate on doing?

Jindal: It’s so tempting to focus on the candidate from the other side. We can’t be obsessed with whomever we’re running against. We have to focus on our ideas, our solutions. We need to make the case for a conservative alternative for where this president has taken our country. Start with economic growth. It goes to healthcare policy, foreign policy, tax policy, energy policy – but it starts most importantly with showing the American people that our country can do better than this. Two to 3 percent growth is not enough. Outsourcing foreign policy to [Vladimir] Putin is not enough. Cultural decay in our culture is not enough. I think the American people know that. In their bones and heart, they know borrowing money from China to give everybody free stuff from the government is not sustainable. What we have to do is present the positive conservative alternative to their agenda.

 

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