Washington (CNN) - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, waved off the Obama administration's jubilance over this week’s news that more than 7 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
“So what that under the threat of a government mandate they are able to get to this target of 7.1 million?” Jindal said Wednesday.
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“Forget for a minute, by the way, we don’t even know what those numbers mean,” he said. “We don’t know how many of the folks actually pay their premiums. We don’t know how may of those folks were previously uninsured.”
Jindal was speaking to reporters at a Washington breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, where he revealed his own health care proposal that he claimed would lower costs and make insurance more affordable while giving states more control.
While Jindal called for a full dismantling of Obama's health care law – “We should absolutely repeal the law,” he said - he warned Republicans against running against Obamacare without offering a concrete plan to replace it
“There are too many Republicans in this town that say we can run against Obamacare and not say anything else more specific until November because that’s a winning strategy,” said Jindal, a former health policy official in the George W. Bush administration.
“Look, there may be short term tactical reasons that makes sense to a lot of folks, but I think that’s wrong. If we want to earn the right to be in the majority, we have to be the party of specific ideas.”
Jindal’s health care plan, released under the auspices of his policy group, America Next, would set aside a pool of more than $100 billion for states to experiment with health care policy.
He proposed instituting a standard tax deduction for health insurance, promoting the use of health saving accounts to help consumers pay their premiums, and reducing Medicare costs by providing vouchers for seniors to purchase insurance.
Coverage for pre-existing conditions would be guaranteed, he said.
Democrats were quick to pick apart Jindal's proposals.
"Jindal’s plan is nothing more than a rehash of failed Republican ideas that have been – and will continue to be – rejected by the voters," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Michael Czin.