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Bobby Jindal clashes with Republican rival over health care

Washington: All the 17 Republican presidential candidates, including Louisiana’s Indian-American governor Bobby Jindal, want to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, but there is little said about what would come in its place.

An intra-party feud broke out Tuesday over the Affordable Care Act with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unveiling a plan to replace “Obamacare” and Jindal immediately attacking it on the campaign trail.

Bobby_Jindal_CPAC_2013_BWalker’s plan “makes the mistake President Obama did of creating a new entitlement programme at a time when we can’t afford the entitlement programmes we’ve got today,” Jindal told a lunch crowd in Le Mars in Iowa, The Advocate newspaper reported.

“I don’t think that Republicans should be offering Obamacare-lite plans,” Jindal told reporters in Le Mars. “It continues this idea of government dependence.”

“For several months now, I’ve been the only candidate to offer a detailed plan,” said Jindal continuing the tirade at a forum in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Tuesday night. “It’s one thing to give a speech, but it’s another to give details.”

Walker’s plan calls for the creation of a refundable tax credit for individuals who do not have employer-based coverage.

That’s what Jindal has pointed to as an “entitlement” in the plan, though he previously has expressed support for some refundable tax credits for health care, the Advocate noted.

Jindal later challenged Walker to a debate over health care in Iowa, via Twitter and an email blast from his campaign.

“Walker’s plan is getting rave reviews from the conservative movement for being a thoughtful, substantive and viable plan to repeal and replace Obamacare and make health care affordable and accessible for Americans,” Walker’s campaign said in an email to The Advocate

“The refundable health care tax credits the governor includes have been supported by many conservatives because they put health care decision-making in the hands of the American people where it belongs.”

Since 2010, Republicans have pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Republican controlled House “has voted 56 times to repeal or undermine the law, but zero times on a plan to replace it,” the Washington Post pointed out on Tuesday.

All the 17 Republicans candidates too have promised to repeal the law, “but most of them have said relatively little about what they’d put in its place,” the influential newspaper noted.

Front-runner Donald Trump, for instance, has said that his replacement would be “something terrific” and that it would involve making an unspecified deal with hospitals to treat the poor and uninsured.

“We are going to have to work out some kind of a very, very smart deal with hospitals,” he told CNN when asked how.

(IANS)

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