2016 Election, Barack Obama, Elections, Executive Action, Issues, NewsEdge, Obamacare, Scott Walker, The White House

Scott Walker unveils plan to replace Obamacare

Scott_Walker_primary_victory_2010By Molly Beck, The Wisconsin State Journal
MINNEAPOLIS — Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday released a plan to scrap President Barack Obama’s signature health care law the Affordable Care Act, replacing it with a plan that would provide refundable tax credits based on age instead of household income to help individuals pay for health insurance.

“The Day One Patient Freedom Plan,”released to the State Journal on Monday, also would open the door to shopping for health insurance across state lines and reorganize Medicaid.

Walker wrote the plan makes health insurance “more affordable and more portable.”

The plan is the first policy paper Walker has released after officially jumping into the race for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination in June. Walker will formally release the plan in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Tuesday.

But the plan doesn’t outline costs, or how many people would be covered. According to Walker’s campaign, the plan is a trillion-dollar tax cut because it repeals ObamaCare and will be paid for by reorganizing Medicaid.

Walker’s plan also aims to lower health insurance premiums, but does not provide specifics about how that would be accomplished.

Walker wrote his plan would increase health coverage options for individuals and businesses, eliminating regulations put forth by the Obamacare plan.

“This could lower premiums by up to 25 percent by eliminating ObamaCare’s regulations and by encouraging real competition among health insurers and providers.

The absence of details on costs and coverage estimates makes it nearly impossible to compare with current law. For the period from April-June of this year, 11.4 percent of U.S. adults were uninsured, which translates to about 16 million people gaining coverage since the rollout of the health care law in 2013.

Walker and other Republican candidates have insisted they would repeal the law, starting on the first day of a GOP presidency. The biggest hurdle Walker, and any opponent of the law, faces is getting it repealed. That would take 60 votes in the Senate, and Walker’s plan does not address how he would undo the law in any other way.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June upheld a key portion of the Affordable Care Act allowing for federal subsidies to defray the cost of coverage, a major defeat for opponents of the law. Walker and other Republicans have been fighting the law both in court and on the campaign trail since 2010.

Topher Spiro, vice president for health policy at the Center for American Progress, a think tank often aligned with the White House, said Walker’s plan would be a step backward.

“The math only adds up if he’s slashing Medicaid and increasing taxes on middle-class people with employer plans,” Spiro said.

While the Walker plan would repeal the Affordable Care Act, it appears to use some similar kinds of tools to promote coverage. For example, there would be no requirement for individuals to carry health insurance or face fines, as there is currently. But, in order to be guaranteed affordable coverage without regard to pre-existing medical problems, individuals would have to “maintain continuous, creditable coverage.”

There’s merit to Walker staking out his position on the issue, even though he doesn’t explain how the law would be repealed, said economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a center-right think tank.

“There’s a lot of this that is fairly standard conservative health policy reform,” Holtz-Eakin said. “The basic plan looks familiar.”

Walker, similar to current law, would also provide tax credits to help with the cost of coverage. But unlike current law, those credits of between $900 and $3,000 would be based on age and not be keyed to a person’s income. So they may not help low- to moderate-income people as much as the existing tax breaks do.

Walker’s plan calls for eliminating unspecified regulations in the current law, a move that Walker claims would lower premiums by 25 percent.

Other elements of the plan would include extending a $1,000 refundable tax credit for anyone who signs up for a health savings account, allowing people to shop for health insurance across state lines, reorganizing Medicaid into smaller programs, and giving states more regulatory authority.

He would also allow for new health insurance purchasing agreements and deregulate the long-term care insurance market.

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(c)2015 The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.)

Visit The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wis.) at www.wisconsinstatejournal.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

  • Jon Exner

    Seems to me that this is just one more item added to the already complicated federal tax system that the republicans have been complaining about for a long time.
    Can’t simplify a federal tax system by adding more tax deductions to it.

    • Edward Canady

      Hey Jonnie mop…it is spelled “Garryowen”…..not much on the military history of our Nation…huh?? Just a self- proclaimed expert in all other areas of human existence..joke, joke, joke!!!

      You finally looked up the significance of. “Molon Labe”…and stil can’t comprehend…keep trying wee laddie.

      Molon Labe

    • Jarhead

      The solution is to DEFUND the massively corrupt IRS.

      • Jon Exner

        I know that many people believe the answer is always to defund this or defund that but in this case that is not the solution.
        I believe that all the problems with the IRS are directly attributed to the Congress and the people who vote them into office.
        Congress has voluntarily given up their authority to these Federal agencies over the past 50+ years. All they have to do is to begin to impeach some of the agency heads and things will begin to change. No President can stop an impeachment.
        Just like so many other issues the Congress lead by boehner and mcconnell will not exert the power and authority the have using the excuse that the don’t have the votes. They will never know if the don’t try.
        One thing that is obvious neither boehner nor mcconnell have the skills to lead. They cower in the corner out of fear of losing a vote. They should understand that there are more steps in the process. Take the vote and make it a roll call vote. If they lose then they will know who needs to be brought to attention of their constituents. Only when the voters know where their elected representatives stand on any specific issue will the voters be informed enough to remove that politician and replace then with a person who will do the will of the people.

        • Jarhead

          Your right about Boehner & McConnell…..BUT defunding, closing-down, eliminating the IRS is the only way to cut taxes & rid taxpayers of the massive corruption.

          • Jon Exner

            So how would you fund the Military, or other important items that has made this country the great country it is. We would never had landed on the moon.
            If you believe you can have the same great country with a sales tax good luck.
            The problem is simple, the American voter must come to the understanding that their vote does count. That they must become more informed and understand the issues, that re-electing the same people who refuse to act is what they call insanity.

          • Jarhead

            Sales Tax? Sell off all assets of the IRS, Dept.of ED., EPA, DHS, VA…stop funding ACLU, PP, NPR and other worthless Federal Agencies. Your talking TRILLION SAVED….. Congress will have to learn to cut Budgets, live with SHORT term limits, drug testing and leaving Washington without being a MILLIONAIRE..

          • Jon Exner

            I don’t know about selling off assets of the VA, as a veteran I might just want to use their services.
            I can agree with not funding the ACLU.
            unfortunately at this point closing all the agencies will put a lot of people out of work, we will have an unemployment over 10%.
            I still think there is a need for some of these and again maintain the problem is in Congress who refuses to do their jobs by using their oversight responsibilities to control the power and the authority of these agencies.

          • Jarhead

            Once you attempt to use the VA you will understand that Disabled Veterans cannot receive the medical care that the FED/GOV provides FREE to every illegal alien, every disease carrying free-loader/moocher, every convicted felon and murderous Mu-slime terrorists PLUS they get health care WHEN & WHERE needed….Our Wounded Warriors are not so lucky, the VA might schedule an appointment HUNDREDS of miles away?…….. are you aware that many VA Hospitals are reported rat and cockroach infested…….Some new multi-million dollar VA clinics were built WITHOUT handicapped access (BUT do have baby diaper changing stations)……. and what is your stand on the VA DEATH BY DELAY POLICY? Have you heard about the VA Patient Choice Program? That Hot Line only operates 8 to 4, M thru F, after your initial call you must call back in 3 working days to get the approval and then call back in 8 working days for the name of a civilian doctor they select to take care of the Veteran’s EMERGENCY.
            The only hope for Disabled Veteran’s is for the VA to be defunded, all assets sold, and Health Credit Cards issued to the Disabled Veteran’s for use WHEN AND WHERE NEEDED. It would save taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars…….and save thousands of lives.

          • Jon Exner

            That’s why I don’t use the VA.
            I got out of the Army in 1975 stayed in Germany for a year and when I got home in 1976 I went to the VA and the Doctor told me that I would be better off seeing a private Doctor.
            I never went back, but that just proves my point only the politicians have the power to change things, only the voters have the power to change the politicians.

          • Edward Canady

            Jonnie Mop…nothing you say is believable. If a VA Dr said anything close to what you profess…..then there was no service connected /caused physical problem….and you may have been trying to get medical care for which you were not entitled. …
            Known as Fraud…and attempt to steal govt services..
            Molon Labe.

          • Edward Canady

            Jonnie Mop…how does any part of your riidiculous post ” prove” anything about the power of politicians/people. Silly.
            Molon Labe.

          • Edward Canady

            Sorry about your terrible experience. Fortunately the experience has not been the same for this 100% disabled Vet.

            Maybe get help. American Legion

          • Jarhead

            But only after you call the Choice Hot Line (ONLY works 8 to 4, M thru F) and then wait three working days, then call back & if approved call back in eight days for the name of the local doctor. On the last major medical problem I received NO help from the VA, reported the problem at every appointment (Over 2 dozen times, over a period of 17 months), wrote four letters (One to the Director of the VA), had a face-to-face with a VA Patient Advocate, drove to a VA appointment over 200 miles from home……ZERO, ZIP, NADA, NOTHING……..found a local Wound Specialist and was cured in less than TWO (2) weeks….at my expense for the visits & the Rx although I am 100% Disabled Combat Vet.
            In short the VA is a filthy (Rats & roaches reported at several VA Hospitals) & massively corrupt (Multi-million dollar new VA clinic built without handicapped access) useless agency and should be defunded.
            To receive FASTER, BETTER health care when & where needed like what is provided to illegal aliens, disease carrying moochers, multi-convicted dangerous felons and murderous Mu-slime terrorist cannot be provided by the VA to US Disabled Veterans.

          • Edward Canady

            I truly am sad that you received no assistance with your problems.

            Many towns and cities have VA Clinics that usually are able to intervene on your behalf.

            Under the newest program local vets are able to see the Dr of their choice.with help from the VA Clinic.

            I still. think you shoud seek help from DAV, AmVets, or VFW..Best wishes.

  • Robert Dummich

    Why do we even need a government regulated health care plan. Just let the free market take care of it. If you don’t want insurance then you don’t buy it. You have the responsibity to take care of yourself and family not eveyone else Just repeal obamacare and let people do what they want. It is not my responsibily to pay for other peoples health insurance, or to make insurance companies make a profit.

    • Jarhead

      Spot On Robert…….the harbinger of ACA is the VA Health Care System, a proven massively corrupt Death By Delay FED/GOV costly mistake. Both need to be defunded ASAP. So that everyone will receive faster, better health care and at a lower cost, plus care when & where needed. Something currently only available to illegal aliens, disease carrying moochers, convicted felons and murderous radical Mu-slime terrorists…….and it’s all FREE for them!

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