Thursday, July 5, 2012

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Kicks Off His Campaign to be the VP nominee -- Let the Vitriol Flow

Calls Massive Federal Aid to His State’s Health Care System Wrong – Endears Himself to Conservatives

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled on the Obama health care law attention on the political front can turn to the selection by Mitt Romney of his Vice Presidential running mate.  Each prospective candidate is out there making the basic attacks on President Obama and on the health care law that are required for consideration to be on the ticket.

Recently it was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal who made his pitch to the radical Conservative wing of the Republican party (Yes that is the only wing, it is a one winged party).  As per standard form, Mr. Jindal’s attacks were long on heated rhetoric, short on facts and flat wrong on the economics of health care.

“The president, his administration, needs to understand what makes this country great in part is that we’re not dependent on government programs,” the Republican governor said on “Fox & Friends.” “It seems to me like the president measures success by how many people are on food stamp rolls and government-run health care. That’s not the American dream.”

Let’s see, there is no direct evidence that the President wants anyone to be on Food Stamps, so it must be the fact that the Administration supports nutrition assistance for low income people, a decent and humane position if ever there was one that drives Mr. Jindal’s accusations.  But the Governor really shows his ignorant commitment to ideology over practicality in his condemnation of the Medicaid expansion in the new health care law.

Bobby Jindal is pictured. | AP Photo
La. Gov. JIndal "You're darn right I will put my
VP aspirations ahead of the fiscal and health care welfare
of my state".

Republicans on Capitol Hill have urged governors to consider dropping out of the provision of the law that expands Medicaid coverage.

Jindal said Tuesday that he is determined to “stand up and say no.”
“It makes no sense. This is a bad law. Obamacare, it doesn’t do what the president promised,” he said. “Governors have the right, now with the Supreme Court ruling. They should stand up. We’re not expanding Medicaid.

So what are the facts?  Well Louisiana is a relatively poor state with a large amount of low income people who do not have health care insurance.  Many of these people would get health insurance under the Medicaid expansion.  What’s the fiscal impact?  It is this.

Over the 6 year period of 2014-19 Louisiana would have to fund the Medicaid expansion to the amount of $337 million, or less than $60 million a year.  Over that same period the state would get over $7.2 billion for health care coverage from the Federal government.  Furthermore, if the state turns down the Federal expansion it will almost certainly have to spend more than the $60 million a year to provide basic health care to people who cannot afford it and leave the system wallowing in unpaid bills.  And by not having the Feds $7.2 billion the health care system in Louisiana will have to charge more for services.

Taking the Federal money is so logically obvious that one would think even a rigid, ideologically driven Conservatives would want to do it.  Apparently Conservatives are blind to even the obvious.

1 comment:

  1. The Food Stamps line is one of the mainstream Republican talking points. It goes with the (implied?) Republican argument that Democrats want to keep poor people dependent on government assistance to ensure a steady stream of Democratic voters. With this argument comes the view that people who need government assistance or inherently undeserving of that assistance.

    It's remarkable how inarticulate Jindal, Romney and other high-profile Republicans have been in resisting the ACA. Jindal, for example, cannot even produce a coherent sentence as to why Louisiana must "stand up and say no" to the ACA. It's also remarkable that anyone, let alone a potential majority of voters, buys this crap.