Jindal Slams Hillary Over Flip-Flop on Individual Mandate

Image: Jindal Slams Hillary Over Flip-Flop on Individual Mandate

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 08:29 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has attacked potential presidential contender Hillary Clinton for supporting the individual mandate of Obamacare when two decades ago she testified against it.

In an op-ed for Politico, Jindal writes that the then-first lady told Congress that if the administration passed an individual mandate to buy health coverage it would actually result in people losing their health plans after being dropped by employers.

He quoted Clinton as saying, "We worry that the numbers of people who currently are insured through their employment will decrease because there will no longer be any reason for many employers" to offer coverage when individuals can receive government subsidies instead.

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Jindal noted that Clinton "strenuously supported" an individual health mandate in her 2008 presidential campaign requiring most Americans to be covered. However, 15 years earlier, the Republican governor wrote, Clinton thought an employer mandate was "best way to achieve universal coverage in her healthcare task force’s ill-fated 1993 proposal."

He continued, "Back then, both Hillary and President Bill Clinton believed that placing responsibility primarily on individuals, as opposed to employers, to obtain coverage could cause employers to drop their existing plans.

"Little wonder that after millions of Americans had their health plans canceled last fall, Bill Clinton criticized President Obama’s 'if you like your health care plan' promise. In fact, the Clinton White House knew that pledge was dubious two decades before Politifact finally named it the 'Lie of the Year.'

"The Clintons were onto something at the time, but the health policies they and their party have since advocated have not only failed to solve our nation’s healthcare problems, in some cases, they’ve made them worse. "

In 1993, Jindal says that Hillary Clinton also successfully predicted what inevitably looks like happening under the Obamacare individual mandate — that employers would keep wages down, potentially resulting in the loss of jobs.

"'If we subsidize individuals below a certain income level, there would be pressure on employers to keep wages below the subsidy level so that they [health insurance premiums] would continue to be paid for by the government,'" Jindal quoted Clinton as saying.

In his guest column, Jindal surmised, "That sounds a lot like what the Congressional Budget Office concluded in February: that Obamacare will reduce the labor force by the equivalent of 2.3 million workers, because employers will not raise wages, and individuals will choose not to work in order to retain access to government insurance subsidies.

"Clinton’s statements demonstrate the colossal failures not just of the Obama administration but of two decades of government planning in health policy."

Jindal wrote that the healthcare plan he unveiled last month, America Next, would be a "big step in the right direction to solving the government’s healthcare woes."

His plan give states "new incentives" to reform their insurance markets and health systems and provide more insurance options for individuals, the governor says.

He added, "The question neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will want to answer is why the problems outlined by Clinton in her testimony two decades ago remain unsolved.

"The reason is that the left keeps coming up with the same wrong answers; it brings to mind that insanity is sometimes defined as doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a better result."

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