Why Was Bobby Jindal Afraid To Talk About Republican Health Proposals?

jindaladdress.jpgJust a quick note on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R-LA) remarks from last night. Note that, with just a few exceptions, the section about health care sounded like a Democratic press release:

To strengthen our economy, we also need to address the crisis in health care. Republicans believe in a simple principle: No American should have to worry about losing their health coverage – period. We stand for universal access to affordable health care coverage. We oppose universal government-run health care. Health care decisions should be made by doctors and patients – not by government bureaucrats. We believe Americans can do anything – and if we put aside partisan politics and work together, we can make our system of private medicine affordable and accessible for every one of our citizens.

So what’s the difference between progressive and conservative health proposals? Listening to Jindal’s speech, one can’t really tell.

Jindal is shrouding deeply unpopular conservative health principles in progressive rhetoric (and that’s no accident). Republicans don’t really want to guarantee everyone affordable care, they just want to sound like they do. As Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) indicated during the campaign, Republicans believe that health care is a responsibility, not a right. And as such, the Republican consumer-driven approach won’t produce universal coverage.

But most Americans support comprehensive reform that lowers costs and gets everyone into the health system and oppose consumer-driven plans. Republicans like Jindal are trying to co-opt some progressive buzzwords without tipping their hands.