Republican Alternatives to Obamacare


by Sue Lani Madsen

Source: Seattle Post Intelligencer

Liberals say we can’t repeal or reform the #ACA because “there are no Conservative alternatives to Obamacare”.

They’re wrong. As a friend told me, “. . . there are no Conservatives stupid enough to propose bankrupting the majority on behalf of the minority.” Here’s a list she recently posted:

*Ten Steps to Transform Health Care in America Act (S. 1783) introduced by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) July 12, 2007.

*Every American Insured Health Act introduced by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bob Corker (R-TN) with co-sponsors Tom Coburn (R-OK), Mel Martinez (formerly R-FL) and Elizabeth Dole (formerly R-NC) on July 26, 2007.

*Senators Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Healthy Americans Act on January 18, 2007 and re-introduced the same bill on February 5, 2009.

*Patients’ Choice Act of 2009 introduced by Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA) on May 20, 2009. H.R. 2300, Empowering Patients First Act introduced July 30, 2009 by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).

“Likewise, conservative market-oriented health policy scholars have developed a rich menu of potential replacement plans for Obamacare…”

*Individual Pay or Play proposed in 2005 by John Goodman; this is a minimalist version of a broader reform envisaged by Goodman built on converting the tax exclusion into universal tax credits.

*Health Status Insurance originally proposed by John Cochrane in 1995. Universal Health Savings Accounts proposed by John Goodman and Peter Ferrara in 2012. This combines fixed tax credits with individual pay or play and health status insurance concepts along with Roth-style Health Savings Accounts.

*Fixed tax credits. A variety of proposals have centered on using fix tax credits to replace the current inefficient and unfair tax exclusion for employer-provided health benefits. Two good explanations of how that would work are here: James C. Capretta and Robert E. Moffit, “How to Replace Obamacare,” National Affairs, no. 11 (Spring 2012).

*Constructing an Alternative to Obamacare: Key Details for a Practical Replacement Program. American Enterprise Institute, December 2012.

*Income-Related Tax Credits proposed by Mark Pauly and John Hoff in Responsible Tax Credits (2002) and endorsed by the American Medical Association.

*More recently, 8 scholars from Harvard, University of Chicago, and USC–Jay Bhattacharya, Amitabh Chandra, Michael Chernew, Dana Goldman, Anupam Jena, Darius Lakdawalla,Anup Malani and Tomas Philipson—released Best of Both Worlds: Uniting Universal Coverage and Personal Choice in Health Care (2013) which also is built around a model of individual health insurance subsidized with income-related tax credits.

*Flexible Benefits Tax Credit For Health Insurance by Lynn Etheredge in 2001. Near-Universal Health Insurance Exchanges proposed in 2001 by Sara Singer, Alan Garber and Alain Enthoven (covers only non-elderly).

*Universal Health Insurance Exchanges proposed in 2013 by former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Avik Roy (covers Medicare and Medicaid in addition to privately insured).