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Bobby Jindal to take on Obama on health care

July 22, 2009 14:15 IST

United States' Republican party has fielded its rising star Bobby Jindal against President Barack Obama on the contentious issue of health care, with the charismatic Indian-American Governor of Louisiana slamming the Democrats' reform plan as the one designed to 'tax our way into prosperity'.

Thirty seven-year-old Jindal not only appeared on the Fox News channel on Tuesday challenging the health care policy of Obama, but also came out openly against the popular US President by writing an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.

'I am no longer shocked by anything I hear out of Washington. The House Democrats have been trying to spend our way into prosperity, borrowing to prosperity. Now in this health care plan, they're trying to tax our way into prosperity,' Jindal told the Fox News.

Highly critical of Obama's health plan, Jindal said this plan, according to the Congress' own budget office, does not actually reduce government health care spending, but will increase it.

'This plan actually puts the government in the room so you have got bureaucrats getting in between doctors and their patients. It will actually decrease the quality of care,' he said.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Jindal said it seems history always repeats itself.

'That is what's happening now with health-care reform. This is an unfortunate turn of events for Americans who are legitimately concerned about the skyrocketing cost of a basic human need.'

In 1993 and 1994, the health-care reform proposal of former First Lady Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State, failed because it was 'concocted in secret' without the guiding hand of public consensus-building, and because it was a philosophical over-reach, Jindal said, adding that today, President Obama is repeating these mistakes.

He said the reason is plain as the left in Washington has concluded that honesty will not yield its desired policy result. So it resorted to a fundamentally dishonest approach to reform, he alleged.

'I say this because the marketing of the Democrats' plans as presented in the House of Representatives and endorsed heartily by President Obama rests on falsehoods,' Jindal said.

Obama 'doggedly promises that if you like your (private) health-care coverage now, you can keep it. That promise is hollow, because the Democrats' reforms are designed to push an ever-increasing number of Americans into a government-run health-care plan,' he said.

Jindal is also scheduled to appear on a number of news channels to articulate his party's viewpoint on health care reform and oppose the new policy proposed by Obama.
Lalit K Jha in Washington
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