10 things to know about Bobby Jindal's views on healthcare

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is running for president in the 2016 election. Here are 10 things to know about his views on healthcare.

1. Gov. Jindal has educational background and professional experience in health policy. Gov. Jindal graduated from Brown University in Providence, R.I., when he was only 20 with dual degrees in biology and public policy. Although he was admitted to Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School, he attended neither and instead went to Oxford University as a Rhode scholar to study health policy. Gov. Jindal previously served as secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals at age 24.

2. Gov. Jindal wants to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Gov. Jindal was clear about this view at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in February. "We must repeal every single word of Obamacare," Gov. Jindal said, according to The Times-Picayune. Furthermore, Gov. Jindal complained that GOP leaders are "waving the white flag of surrender on their election promises to repeal of the Affordable Care Act."

3. Gov. Jindal has urged for a truly conservative an alternative to the PPACA, not a version that is "Democrat-lite." In an opinion piece for Politico, Gov. Jindal said a Republican alternative that looks like the PPACA is likely to bring with it many of what he considers to be PPACA's problems.

In 2014, Gov. Jindal revealed a plan he developed with America Next, a conservative policy group he founded. It proposes a pool of over $100 billion in federal funding over 10 years for states to subsidize affordable health insurance for low-income individuals and individuals with pre-existing conditions. Gov. Jindal said the grant money would be raised by making changes to medical malpractice law and from other sources, according to The Wall Street Journal

4. Gov. Jindal is opposed to Medicaid expansion. In 2012, Gov. Jindal refused to set up a PPACA exchange in Louisiana, even after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the health law, according to ABC News. Gov. Jindal called the healthcare plan a "blow to our freedoms" and said the "president forced this law on us." "It really raises the question of what's next, what's allowable," Gov. Jindal said on a Republican National Committee conference call, according the report. "Taxes on people who refuse to eat tofu or refuse to drive a Chevy Volt…this whole ruling I think is ridiculous. It's a huge expansion of federal power."

5. In King v. Burwell, Gov. Jindal welcomed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in support of King, which would strike down subsidies for Americans who obtained health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov exchange, according to ThinkProgress. He told reporters at a Conservative Political Action Conference: "When the subsidies go away, the individual mandate goes away, the employer mandate goes away. That's a great thing. That's a tax cut," according to the report. If the high court did strike down the federal subsidies, as many as 250,000 Louisianans could have lost their coverage, as Gov. Jindal has declined to expand Medicaid expansion or the creation of a state healthcare exchange.

6. As governor of Louisiana, Gov. Jindal privatized the management of most of the state's charity hospitals and contracted private insurers to have oversight over healthcare for the poor. Throughout 2013, Gov. Jindal set the stage to sell and close hospitals within Baton Rouge-based Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division. Gov. Jindal and other Louisiana policymakers said the safety-net LSU health system was losing money and privatizing the hospitals would save the state $100 million annually.

W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center in Lake Charles and Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge both closed their doors in 2013 as part of the process, while many of the other LSU hospitals began partnerships with new private operators. For example, in June 2013, Louisiana Children's Medical Center in New Orleans took over Interim LSU Public Hospital, also in New Orleans. Lafayette (La.) General Medical Center absorbed University Medical Center, also in Lafayette. Today, Lallie Kemp Regional Medical Center in Independence, La. is the only public hospital remaining under LSU operation, according to The Advocate, while Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge became the home for LSU medical education programs and patient care.

7. Gov. Jindal believes healthcare is universal and should be available to all Americans. However, Gov. Jindal believes government is not able to adequately provide universal healthcare. according to The Advocate. He expressed this view in his 1994 thesis, and still believes it today, the article reads. However, he also noted in his thesis that decisions must be made as far as what services are provided. According to the report, Gov. Jindal's focus over time has moved from what services to provide to how services are provided.

He believes the government's role should be to work with and provide help to the states, which would create the mechanisms and incentives to attract wider participation among private physicians and clinics and to address specific local needs, according to The Advocate. "Simply giving someone an insurance card and pretending they have affordable access isn't enough," Gov. Jindal said in the report.

9. Gov. Jindal favors more funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health in the wake of last year's Ebola crisis, according to The Hill. A recent budget proposal from House Republicans for President Barack Obama's health department included more funding for those two areas. Last fall, Gov. Jindal called on the Obama administration to impose a travel ban for flights to the U.S. from countries experiencing an Ebola outbreak, according to Politico. CDC Director Tom Frieden said such a strategy could backfire by making it more difficult to help the countries affected by the virus. 

10. Other platforms. Gov. Jindal is pro-vaccine. This February, he stated he has "no reservations about whether or not it is a good idea and desirable for all children to be vaccinated," according to The Advocate. "There is a lot of fear mongering out there on this," he added. "I think it is irresponsible for leaders to undermine the public's confidence in vaccinations that have been tested and proven to protect public health. Science supports them and they keep our children safe from potentially deadly but preventable diseases. Personally, I would not send my kids to a school that did not require vaccinations. Vaccinations are important. I urge every parent to get them. Every one."

Gov. Jindal does not support abortion. According to PBS, Gov. Jindal supports the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with exceptions for rape, incest or life of the mother. In 2014, he signed a law that required all Louisiana physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital at least 30 miles away. The law effectively forced the closure of three of the state's five abortion clinics. Earlier this year, his administration denied Planned Parenthood an operating license in New Orleans. 

 

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