Walker Unveils Plan To Replace Obama’s Health Care Law

Plan Marks First Major Policy Proposal Of The Governor's Campaign

Rich Kremer/WPR

Gov. Scott Walker released a plan to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law at a campaign rally in the Twin Cities on Tuesday.

Walker said that as president, he’d press Congress to fully repeal Obama’s law before introducing health care legislation of his own. His “Day One Patient Freedom Plan” would provide federal tax credits based on age to those who don’t have employer-provided insurance — a major change from the current system, which grants credits based on income.

The plan would lift caps on health savings accounts, move insurance regulations to the states and overhaul Medicaid. Walker said it would also let people pool together and buy insurance out of state.

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“We allow people, customers, to go out and pool together and purchase health care that way. It could be a group of farmers, a group of small business owners, a group of individuals out there,” he said.

Walker said repealing the Affordable Care Act is akin to a $1 trillion tax cut that would keep his plan cost neutral.

The plan — the governor’s first major policy initiative of his presidential campaign — does not include cost figures or an estimate of the number of people who would be covered.

Democrats slammed Walker’s plan, saying it would leave millions without insurance by destroying state and federal exchanges. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said the plan is a political stunt meant to help Walker’s poll numbers in Iowa.

“The plan, overall, speaks to the ultra-conservative Republican base, which is what the governor needs to do right now,” he said. “It’s not going to help anybody. It’s actually going to hurt people more than it’s going to help them.”

An official with a think tank often aligned with the White House, the Center for American Progress, said Walker’s plan would be a step backward.

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