The Corner

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Jindal, Ctd.


According to my old boss James Pinkerton (via Michael Cannon), Bobby Jindal was “brave” to endorse an idea that the vast majority of Americans support: a ban on pre-existing conditions. Given its popularity, opposition to the idea is supposedly an example of libertarian purism rather than conservative statesmanship. Of course Pinkerton is correct to urge conservatives to take “political and ideological reality into account.” That is a subset of our duty to take account of reality, period. And one reality is that a ban on pre-existing conditions, as observers at all points on the political spectrum who have studied the issue have agreed, is inseparable from other policies such as a mandate for people to buy health insurance. Enact the idea Jindal endorsed without also enacting the one he hasn’t, and you’ll destroy the health-insurance market. Enact them both together, and you have something that no longer commands the support of the vast majority that Pinkerton rests his case on.