by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
James Capretta dissects for National Review Online readers the emerging conservative alternatives to the Affordable Care Act.
… [T]wo of the leading candidates — Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and Florida senator Marco Rubio — have offered serious plans for replacing Obamacare in its entirety. (In Senator Rubio’s case, he reiterated in an op-ed the principles of a plan he outlined several months ago.) They, along with Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, are now the candidates who can speak most credibly about what’s wrong with Obamacare, because they have actual plans to do something about it.
Governor Walker’s plan is very good because it is both workable as policy and realistic politically. It has five key features:
Retention of Employer Coverage: Walker’s plan would leave in place today’s job-based insurance arrangements. There are 160 million Americans in those plans, and they generally like what they have. They do not want to have their health insurance upended based on an untested promise that they will get better coverage elsewhere under a new, reformed system. Walker is smart to signal to these Americans that his plan would basically leave them alone.
Tax Credits for Households without Access to Employer-Sponsored Insurance: Although most Americans today have access to employer coverage, a sizeable number of households do not have access to such plans, nor did they have access before Obamacare was enacted. …
The other key aspects of Walker’s plan, Capretta reports, are continuous coverage protection, expansion of health savings accounts, and Medicaid reform.