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Scott Walker, Marco Rubio introduce Obamacare alternatives

Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) 

Republican presidential hopefuls Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) released their Obamacare replacement plans this week.

Both men claim that they would repeal Obamacare as one of their first acts as president and offer up a better alternative.

“On my first day as President, I will send legislation to the Congress that will repeal Obamacare entirely and replace it in a way that puts patients and their families back in charge of their health care – not the federal government,” Walker said Tuesday.

Under Walker’s “Day One Patient Freedom Plan,” Obamacare would be replaced by a system in which individuals would receive tax credits toward the purchase of insurance. The value of the credits would be based on age and would range from $900 for those under 17 years old to $3,000 for those between 50 and 64, the Washington Examiner reported.

“The credits would be ‘refundable,’ meaning that individuals would receive the same fixed amount of money regardless of their tax burden. So, if a man in his 50s owes $2,000 in taxes, and claims a $3,000 health insurance credit, he’d effectively receive a $2,000 tax cut, and then another $1,000 in government spending,” the Examiner explained.

Walker does plan to undo the guarantee of coverage for those with pre-existing conditions that comes with Obamacare, but his plan “would require insurance companies to continue providing insurance to anybody who maintains continuous coverage, regardless of pre-existing conditions.”

The Examiner also reported that Walker wants the federal government to provide additional funding to the states to help cover those with pre-existing conditions.

Rubio explained his replacement plan Monday in an op-ed for Politico.

“First, I will work with Congress to create an advanceable, refundable tax credit that all Americans can use to purchase health insurance. The value of these credits should increase every year, and we should set the tax preference for employer-sponsored insurance on a glide path to ensure that it will equal the level of the credits within a decade….

Second, I will reform insurance regulations to lower costs, encourage innovation, and protect the vulnerable. Those with pre-existing conditions should have access to affordable care through mechanisms such as federally-supported, actuarially-sound and state-based high risk pools. Americans should be able to purchase coverage across state lines so they can seek out affordable coverage regardless of where they live. And consumer-centered products like Health Savings Accounts should be encouraged and expanded. Finally, under no circumstances should taxpayers be asked to bail out an insurance company that loses money, as is currently the case under ObamaCare.

Third, I will take up the difficult work of saving and strengthening Medicare and Medicaid by placing them on fiscally-sustainable paths. Without reforms, these programs will eventually run out of money.”

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