Since Bobby Jindal has about as much hope of being POTUS as I have of being Pope, I hope the insurance industry gave him a good tip for the pack of lies Jindal published in the Wall Street Journal today. He writes,
The left in Washington has concluded that honesty will not yield its desired policy result. So it resorts to a fundamentally dishonest approach to reform. I say this because the marketing of the Democratsâ€™ plans as presented in the House of Representatives and endorsed heartily by President Obama rests on three falsehoods.
However, what Jindal doesn’t tell you is that he gets his “facts” about the Democrats’ plans from UnitedHealthcare, a health insurance company. Yep, the Lewin Group, which Jindal cites as the “study” claiming the public option will drive private insurance out of business, is a subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare, a fact Jindal does not disclose. The study was commissioned by the Heritage Foundation.
Jindal is especially pathetic, considering that the Lewin Group was outed by McClatchy as an insurance company front a couple of days ago.
Congressman Pete Stark of California fired back (page very slow to load):
“The Lewin Group is paid to produce estimates favorable to each clientâ€™s position. As a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealthcare, the countryâ€™s largest private insurance company, the Lewin Groupâ€™s so-called ‘analysis’ is suspect. The Heritage Foundation got the study they paid for, but it is pure fiction.
“The Congressional Budget Office found that H.R. 3200 increases employer-sponsored insurance and less than 10 million people would choose the public health insurance option by 2019.”
The rest of Jindal’s carnival pitch is the usual right-wing blah blah blah — giving the poor “help in buying private coverage through a refundable tax credit,” for example. His solution for motivating insurance companies to provide more coverage for people with pre-existing conditions is “Reinsurance, high-risk pools, and other mechanisms can reduce the dangers of adverse risk selection and the incentive to avoid covering the sick.” Segregating people into high-risk pools is going to help them get affordable insurance, how?
Basically, Jindal’s op ed is all word salad; lots of the right buzzwords, but nothing that you could string together to make a coherent policy.