The only thing more seemingly out-of-touch than Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s Republican reply to Barack Obama’s first State of the Union address is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s piece on health care reform today in the Washington Post:
But memo to Washington: The debate on health care has moved on. Democratic plans for a government takeover are passé. The people don’t want it. Believe the polls, the town halls, the voters. Only Democrats in Washington would propose new taxes on businesses and families in the middle of a recession, $900 billion in new spending at a time of record deficits, and increased taxes on health insurance and products to reduce health-care costs.
Washington is the only place in the country that doesn’t realize that this debate is over. Democrats may march forward anyway, but they will do so without the people, and at their own peril.
Love that word passé, don’t you? But the debate isn’t over until the vote is taken in Congress, and that still has the power to injure not only Democrats, who will, as Jindal says, be acting without the people and at their peril, but all of us. The worst thing we could do is act as if the debate is over.
Then the governor chirps:
Yet hope for meaningful reform need not be lost. Only two things need to happen. First, Democrats have to give up on their grand experiment and get serious about bipartisan solutions. Second, Republicans have to join the battle of ideas.
Well, let’s see, how likely is the first? And as for the second, it’s demeaning to Republicans in the House and Senate who have been fighting Obamacare. Jindal falls for the Democratic notion that Republicans have put forward no alternative plans. They have, but the Democratic leadership hasn’t allowed debate.
But Republicans must shift gears. Conservatives should seize the mantle of reform and lead. Conservatives either genuinely believe that conservative principles will work to solve real-world problems such as health care or they don’t. I believe they will.
Okay, I just quoted that because it has so many clichés.
Jindal has some good ideas (lawsuit reform) and some bad ideas (insurance of pre-existing conditions, which is not insurance but something else entirely—it may be good but it’s not insurance). At The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuro agrees that some of Jindal’s ideas are “half-baked” and gives the quick list of Republicans who have put forward innovative ideas on health care reform.