Bush, Jindal offer input on Obamacare showdown
September 18th, 2013
04:53 PM ET
11 months ago

Bush, Jindal offer input on Obamacare showdown

Updated 9/19/2013 at 8 a.m. ET

Washington (CNN) – Two potential contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination weighed in Wednesday on the congressional battle over Obamacare that's now putting a government shutdown at risk.

While former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal agreed the president's health care law is a disaster, they had slightly different comments on House Republicans' refusal to pass an upcoming spending bill unless it kills funds for the president's health care law.

Asked at a National Press Club event in Washington whether the GOP should move forward with the plan, Jindal didn't directly answer the question but said he believes the "repeal and defund" strategy is certainly "a fight worth having."

House Republicans have voted to defund Obamacare at least 40 times since it became law in 2010. While a few provisions have already kicked in, open enrollment for the state insurance exchanges starts October 1.

"I think (Obamacare) needs to be replaced, but I think 'repeal and defund' is certainly… a fight worth having. I don't think as a party we should negotiate with ourselves or take anything off the table," Jindal said.

The governor, however, insisted Republicans need to come up with an alternative. "I don't think it's just enough to say we'll repeal it."

Jindal opted out of the federally-funded Medicaid expansion for his state that would last three years, a provision under the health care law.

Adding on, Bush said he wanted to offer "a little dose of reality."

With Republicans holding the majority in the House, they only control "one-half of one-third" of the federal government, meaning their influence is greatly limited.

"It's a reality. This isn't a hypothetical. So as we get closer to these deadlines, there needs to be an understanding that politically it's quite dicey for the Republican Party," he said.

Bush argued the health care law is "so dysfunctional" and could "collapse under its own weight," implying Republicans should let the law fail on its own rather than try to bring it down with the threat of a government shutdown.

"I don't think (the Obama administration has) the ability to implement it effectively, and so this debate will go on because this is not going to work," Bush said. He agreed with Jindal that Republicans should have an alternative plan ready to go.

Bush argued Obamacare is the "single biggest retardant" to job creation.

"This issue's not going to go away, irrespective of what happens in the next couple of weeks here," he said.

Bush also cautioned his Republican colleagues in Washington to think beyond the beltway when it comes to negotiating.

"The fight here is important to have, this is an important part of political life. There's a lot things riding on how Republicans act as it relates to the deficit and budget issues and many other things. I'm not discounting what they do," he said of the nearing fiscal deadlines.

"But I do think the emphasis of being against the president's policies, no matter how principled they are, needs to be only half the story, if not less," Bush continued. "There ought to be more focus on the efforts underway in state capitols and outside of government, to be honest with you, to rebuild America in a more traditional way."


Filed under: 2016 • Bobby Jindal • Budget • Congress • Jeb Bush
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    IT'S THE LAW OF THE LAND!!!!!
    you nincompoops have tried 40 times to repeal it. It's NOT going to happen.
    Then again, who the heck cares what the brother of #43 and mr. mardi gras say!?!?!?!?!?!?

    September 18, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Bush argued the health care law is "so dysfunctional" and could "collapse under its own weight,""

    Well, GOPers/Teatrolls around the country are certainly trying their darndest to self-fulfill that prophecy. The new "in" thing to do in red states is enact all sorts of brand new, extremely onerous, restrictive and expensive to implement and obey regulations on anyone or any company that wishes to help anyone else "navigate" the ACA and obtain the best insurance they can on the exchanges. Add in all their nonsense with refusing the Medicaid expansions, refusing to set up the exchanges, repealing laws that help keep insurance premiums under control (like FL repealing the law authorizing the insurance commissioner to negotiate premiums with insurance companies), and a whole host of other under-the-radar legislative and executive actions that the MSM REFUSES TO REPORT ON that are specifically designed to delay, hamper and break the implementation of the ACA and literally cause higher premiums...just so they can say "I told you so" while the MSM helps them make their case by never reporting on what they did to undermine it all.

    September 18, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Psst. CNN. Listen up.

    1. Affordable Health Care (otherwise known as Obamacare) will NOT be defunded.

    2. A government shutdown by the GOP trying to defund Obamacare will only hurt the GOP.

    3. Mr. Obama will NOT be on the presidential ticket in 2016.

    You can continue to drag in every GOP partisan hack in the country to bolster your own biased claims, but it isn't going to make the GOP smell any better should they continue to stamp their feet and throw their hissy fits.

    September 18, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. Gunderson

    Aw, well,
    The Figures are lying and the liar's are figuring. So what at bottom of Barrell? Keep Obama Care and Barrell pretty much empty. Less and less people working and paying Taxes. Paying for all Big Social Programs out of money so Big Liberal Spenders, want to raise the National Debt. More and more.companies dumping Health Care for Employees and sending it to Exchanges. Conservatives trying to keep some fiscal sanity in Washington. The Peasants have out voted them last 80 years. When people wise up?

    September 18, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    In other words, when it comes to the ACA, the red states are the kid who gets told to go wash the dishes and then deliberately breaks one in hopes that he gets told to get the hell away from them and never gets asked to do it again. The GOP/Teatrolls: Breaking gov't to prove it's broken.

    September 18, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. rs

    Fascinating- more lies from the Rightabout the ACA and the bold ascertion that somehow they have the justification on their side to crash the government over a duly passed, Supreme Court vetted law- simply because they don't like it. The impact of their action, should they succeed with their repeal nonsense is that medical costs will rise at even greater rates,the deficit will rise owing to greater Medicare and Medicaid costs, the number of Americans with heath care coverage will drop, especially impacting the poor, the elderly and anyone with the notorious "pre-existing conditions".This is especially bad inasmuch as the GOP offers up NOTHING in return.This is purely punishment from the Right for not embracing their strident philosophies.

    If the GOP loses the ACA battle, and crashes the federal government (with all of the disruptions that will cause), we will likely see a downturn in the country's credit rating, people missing out in payments owed from the government- including Social Security, a closure of federal facilities including national parks and monuments, and a suspension of federal contracts- likely sending up unemployment.

    For what? A bankrupt "ideology" from a party that hates America? Americans have already signaled they would hold the GOP responsible for such an imature and wreckless action (51%). Do they think they won't pay for such radicalism like they did the LAST time they pulled this stunt? Write your Congresscreature today-remind them they work for you, not the Insurance Lobby.

    September 18, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "The impact of their action, should they succeed with their repeal nonsense is that medical costs will rise at even greater rates,"

    PROFITS!

    "the deficit will rise owing to greater Medicare and Medicaid costs,"

    Designed to destroy those two programs, of course.

    "the number of Americans with heath care coverage will drop,"

    Well, clearly only the virtuous deserve health care, and since virtue is obviously determined and proven by one's level of wealth, well, you get the picture.

    "especially impacting the poor, the elderly and anyone with the notorious "pre-existing conditions".

    But but but...have you SEEEEEEN who they vote for?

    September 18, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Gurgyl

    Do these idiots that oppose know it is the law of the land, lex loci. Period.

    September 18, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    No more Bush or Boobie J!

    September 18, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Jeb is walking a tightrope. He may or may not run for President, but don't forget his son George P. Bush, who
    may be Texas' next Railroad Commissioner and the next step would be Gov or Pres-oops. Jeb can' upset
    the Bush apple cart.

    September 18, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  11. anonymous

    If Obamacare is so great why are the unions now all up in arms about it?

    If Obamacare is so great why all the exemptions for Congress and their workers?

    Why the delay in the employer mandate?

    Why not doing parts that have been deemed impractical?

    Employers shifting people to part time employment thanks to Obamacare. Now they have to work two jobs.

    Obamacare is a Comprehensive Train Wreck.

    Get rid of it anyway you can, including shutting down the funding and this out of control government.

    September 18, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Lisa P.

    ...Bush continued. "There ought to be more focus on the efforts underway in state capitols and outside of government, to be honest with you, to rebuild America in a more traditional way."
    #########################################################################

    Yes, please do look at what is happening at the state level. Look at Wisconsin, for example: the corrupt practices of Governor Scott Walker and his rubber stamp Legislature of time-servers, sycophants, ideologues and extremists is wrecking our economy, our educational system and our environment. Just a small snapshot of what the GOP would like to do at a national level if they get the chance (and Scott Walker's shadowy out-of-state backers are very eager indeed to have that chance - don't kid yourself that they aren't). Vote Republican only if you hate America and want to see it go down the tubes like Wisconsin has. Vote Republican at your peril - that's what looking at the states will teach you.

    "Rebuild," nothing. I won't even touch the b.s. loaded into that "more traditional way" dog whistle.

    September 18, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Florida legislators do not even want the 4 million uninsured Floridians to get information about ACA. Keep on with the book burnings you right wingnuts.

    September 18, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Ron L

    Being an independent voter it is GREAT to at least hear two Republicans say something I have been saying for six months. If the Republicans want to repeal the law they HAVE to replace it with something that will work as well or better. They are not doing this because they have no better idea. In regards to the Affordable Care Act being the "biggest single retardent" when it comes to job creation. I have to totally disagree with this for the following reasons:
    ....Our current political climate has done "NOTHING" to help ease concerns with the budget. IT IS DYSFUNCTIONAL!!
    ....At least 30% of working Americans make $10.00 an hour or less which means they have NO expendable cash which prevents any real growth.
    ...In the past our government would have major infrastructure projects going that would help stimulate local economies, but not while this President is in office.
    The bottom line is this, companies only hire people when their product has an increase in demand. The ecomony is flat not because of the Affordable Care Act, it's flat because most people don't know what the next argument is going to be in Washington and they have NO money to spend on anything but the basics. Once these two things change, the economy will get healthier.

    September 18, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Thomas

    GW Bush's brother Jeb and Bubba Jindal are like gas guzzling Cadillac's in a Tesla electric world !

    These two dinosaurs need to roll over and let in the new !

    September 18, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. boungiorno

    be the solution not the problem

    September 18, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Data Driven

    On the pure politics angle, Bush is correct, in his usual pragmatic way. Poll after poll shows that Americans will blame the GOP House for a shutdown, and they're right to do so. Bush is trying to point this out to them, but they won't listen.

    Good. Maybe they'll be tossed out next year. And then we can move forward.

    September 18, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    "Republicans should let the law fail on its own rather than try to bring it down with the threat of a government shutdown." said Bush. The GOP is scared that if it works it makes them look like more of an idiotic party! Since none of them voted for the bill. They have been telling there crazies that it will fail and if it doesn't they are in big trouble back in their home district.

    September 18, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. Evergreen

    If having affordable healthcare will destroy our economy then something is very wrong with this economy. America's focus needs to be on building a more solid economy rather this current house of cards that apparently can collapse at anytime.

    September 18, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. Guest

    Evergreen
    If having affordable healthcare will destroy our economy then something is very wrong with this economy. America's focus needs to be on building a more solid economy rather this current house of cards that apparently can collapse at anytime.
    --

    Obamacare has NOTHING to do with "affordable healthcare". It is a massive new government healthcare entitlement program for tens of millions. First cost estimated/lied at $900 billion but now increased to $2.6 TRILLION and climbing.

    Democrats have lied and decieved the country since day one about this.

    September 18, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    These two are persons of "NON COMPOSE MENTIS". Period. Just see legal dictionary or send them to law school.

    September 18, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. orrball

    What is sad is CNN nor Dem. can tell us about Obamacare would that not scare you? that is like buying a house and not even looking at it! how can you be fore it or against it this is stupid

    September 18, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  23. w l jones

    We in this country should train business economy for all our citizen so to make everyone have a parallel knowledge on how make or way of life live far in distant future.

    September 18, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. rs

    The GOP is scared of being blamed for the shutdown. Could that be for months they have been threatening to shut down the government if they don't get their way?

    The USA does not negotiate with terrorists!

    September 18, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. joe

    the ACA a job killer? really? what then killed jobs when bush was president? hardly can blame that on the ACA. lets face it...the GOP is controlled by a bunch of childish, immature, radical fools who are hell bent on destroying our great country. if the GOP doesn't like living in our country they can pack their bags and move out. i'm sick of their BS. those GOP elected officals who are calling for impeachment of our president are traitors and totally unamerican.

    September 18, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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