Jindal’s Textbook Solution for a Flawed Obamacare Alternative

Ramesh Ponnuru argues that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has “just escalated that internal [Obamacare debate among Republicans] — and shown why his side should lose it.”

“Jindal’s key provision is to eliminate the tax break for employer-provided health coverage and instead offer a deduction with which people could buy insurance in the individual market.”

“The great flaw in Jindal’s plan is that it would cause millions of people to lose their coverage. Deductions are more valuable to those in high tax brackets, and they wouldn’t provide much help for the lower-income people whom Obamacare allowed to enroll in Medicaid. Many of the people now covered under Obamacare’s exchanges would also lose their coverage.”

“Jindal suggests that an upcoming Supreme Court case, King v. Burwell, is a reason for Republicans to put forward their own health-care plan, and he’s also right about that … That decision, as Jindal says, could cause ‘disruption.'”

“But replacing Obamacare with Jindal’s plan wouldn’t do much to ameliorate that disruption, because the deduction wouldn’t be an adequate replacement for the vanished subsidies. It would even increase the disruption because of its treatment of employer-provided coverage.”

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