The Top Three Republican Candidates and The Affordable Care Act
Jeb Bush is at the moment the front runner in the Republican Presidential election camp. Bush like most of the GOP candidates has called for the repealing of Obamacare. He called the law “a monstrosity” (Haberkorn, 2015 March 9). For Bush, Obamacare seeks to consolidate power in Washington DC. He adds that Obamacare suppresses employee wages and has created uncertainty in investment in the economy. Obamacare is the “greatest wage suppressor in the so called recovery age.” (Haberkorn, 2015 March 9).
Bush’s alternative to Obamacare is the catastrophic health coverage. With this plan, he argues that families can get some relief from the hardship of having to fulfil all government requirements in getting coverage. Bush’s catastrophic health plan is argued to have the effect of empowering individuals rather than the government in decision making about health. On paper, catastrophic health plans are argued to be less expensive and burdensome on an individual than a comprehensive insurance policy. They also cover health costs in the instances of a medical crisis like cancer diagnosis and other injuries that are severe. An advantage of Bush’s catastrophic health plan is that it drastically reduces the cost for patients. The problem is that it does not cover routine checkups and things like doctor’s appointments.
Bush argues that his plan is consumer directed. He doesn’t see the repealing of Obamacare as possible during president Obama’s tenure but with a Republican in place. It can be repealed. He wants patients to make choices. If there is need for government intervention it has to be at the state level not the federal level. This avoids what he terms “coercive exchanges” (Haberkorn, 2015 March 9). He bases some of his reforms on the Medicaid reforms he implemented when he was governor of Florida. These reforms are argued to have increased patient care and reduced costs.
Like Jeb Bush, Rubio hails from Florida and he also vehemently opposes Obamacare. In an opt-ed on the Fox News website, Rubio called the enacting of Obamacare by Congressional Democrats and President Obama a disregard of the constitution (Rubio, 2015 March 24). This is however despite the two Supreme Court rulings that upheld Obamacare as constitutional. He argued that with Obamacare people lost access to their doctors and their insurance plan. It is also causing premiums to increase beyond affordable means. He notes that some of the technical glitches at the roll out of the Obamacare website. Rubio’s contention is that Obamacare is such a disaster that needs no fixes. What it needs is to be repealed and forgotten. Rubio acknowledges that repealing Obamacare has consequences for those who might have enrolled. For this he suggests what he calls a three part plan.
The three part plan of Rubio asks for an advanceable and refundable tax credit. This tax credit will be used by all Americans to buy affordable insurance. Rubio believes that the value of tax credit can increase each year. There is also tax preference for insurance sponsored by employers. This insurance has to equal the tax credits in 10 years (Rubio, 2015 March 24). The second part of Rubio’s health insurance plan tries to find solutions to how to deal with individuals with pre-existing conditions. Coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions can be done through state pools that are supported by the federal government. Rubio believes that Americans should be able to move across state lines and purchase cheaper healthcare if they find healthcare costs in their state to be too high. The third part of his plan seeks to reform Medicare and Medicaid. This is done by “moving Medicaid into per capita cap system” (Rubio, 2015, March 24).
When it comes to Obamacare Ted Cruz is one republican candidate who vehemently opposes the law. He has not just talked about his distaste for the law but has made repealing Obamacare the cornerstone of his presidential campaign. Ted Cruz and other Tea Party Republicans refused to fund the government in October 2013 unless Obamacare was defended (Jacobs, 2015 March 23). With the support of the Republican majority in the House Cruz used the vote by Republicans to keep the government open until December 15 on one condition that President Obama defund Obamacare. Cruz used this opportunity to give a 21 hour filibuster to call for the defunding of Obamacare. He also threatened government shutdown which in the end happened. The shutdown Furloughed more than 800, 000 federal workers which led to the closing of all national parks and museums (Jacobs, 2015 March 23). Ted Cruz’s role in shutting down the government was not well received by his own Republican colleagues who thought he went too far.
One of the controversies with Ted Cruz’s anti-Obamacare crusade is the fact that Ted Cruz ended up on Obamacare even after denouncing it. He had been receiving insurance through his wife’s employer provided plan. He now wants to be part of the healthcare provision under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program which provide government workers with better premiums.
Ted Cruz unveiled his health care plan which he calls the Health Care Choices Act. His plan allows people to buy insurance under state lines. The law is also intended to repeal Title 1 of the Affordable Care Act. It would undo the mandatory clause for individuals to buy insurance or pay a penalty (Sullivan, 2015 March 3). It would also undo the insurance markets and the subsidies given to people so that they can afford healthcare. Of the candidates vying for the presidency, Ted Cruz has the most detailed plan on healthcare.
Haberkorn, Jennifer. (2015 March 9). Jeb Bush talks alternative to Obamacare 'monstrosity'.
Politico. Retrieved from http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/jeb-bush-talks-alternative-to-obamacare-monstrosity-115913.html
Jacobs, Jennifer. (2015 March 24). Ted Cruz to get health care through Obamacare exchange.
Retrieved from http://onpolitics.usatoday.com/2015/03/24/ted-cruz-government-health-care/
Rubio, Marco. My three part plan for the post-Obamacare era. Fox news. Retrieved from
Sullivan, Peter. (2015 March 3). Cruz unveils ObamaCare alternative. The Hill. Retrieved from