10 things to know about Scott Walker's healthcare plan

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will pledge Tuesday in Minnesota to replace the Affordable Care Act with his proposal, dubbed "The Day One Patient Freedom Plan." Here are 10 things to know about it.

Gov Walker has made headlines since he was appointed head of the Badger State in 2010, faced a recall election in 2012 and was re-elected in 2014. He declared July 13 plans to run as a Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election. Here are 10 things to know about the conservative's newly released healthcare plan.

1. Gov. Walker wants to repeal and replace the ACA. Gov. Walker will pledge Tuesday in Minnesota to replace the law with a 6.5 page healthcare proposal dubbed "The Day One Patient Freedom Plan," making him the first "top-tier" candidate to deliver a detailed alternative, according to Politico. The latest Fox News poll has Gov. Walker in fifth place, earning 6 percent of national support.

2. Gov. Walker's alternative system would award Americans without employer-sponsored insurance tax credits for health plans based on age, rather than income or family status, according to The Wall Street Journal. The credits would range from $900 for someone 17 years old to $3,000 for someone between the ages of 50 and 64, for example, and the credits would be used in the open market toward insurance coverage.

3. His plan aims to reduce the power of the federal government in healthcare. In an op-ed for the National Review last Friday, Gov. Walker wrote the ACA "robbed states of the ability to respond to and protect the needs of their consumers, and it taxed and regulated innovation out of the healthcare industry. My plan to replace this flawed law will put patients and doctors back in charge of healthcare decisions, as they should be, spurring innovation in the process."

4. Gov. Walker wants to overhaul Medicaid. Gov. Walker would break Medicaid into smaller divisions, according to WSJ, it would also allow states to independently determine eligibility for low-income families without disabilities.

5. Under his proposal, Americans would not be fined for not having health insurance and those under 26 years old can stay on their parents' plans., The Associated Press also reported Gov. Walker's plan would require continuous coverage to guarantee affordable insurance not based on pre-existing conditions.

6. He says his plan will not add to the federal deficit. "My plan will streamline government and lower the burden on taxpayers, so they can keep more of their hard-earned money," Gov. Walker wrote in the National Review. He estimated the ACA cost $2 trillion. However, the Associated Press noted Gov. Walker did not detail the cost of his plan, nor how many people it would cover. He said he would eliminate $1 trillion in taxes levied under the ACA and make changes to Medicaid and health insurance taxes to offset the cost of his plan.

"The math only adds up if he's slashing Medicaid and increasing taxes on middle-class people with employer plans," Topher Spiro, vice president for health policy at the think tank Center for American Progress, told the Associated Press.

7. Gov. Walker faces benefits and risks by being the first to put forth more detail. Benefits: He may appear substantive and subsequent plans may be viewed as reactionary to his, Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute, told Politico. The risk: Acting first exposes Gov. Walker to critics who will scrutinize the plan and highlight its perceived gaps.

8. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has issued a healthcare plan, but the candidate has not garnered enough support to rank among the top candidates. "[Gov.] Jindal's plan is mostly a collection of conservative health policy ideas that have largely stalled in Washington," according to Politico.

9. Monday, Sen. Marco Rubio illustrated components of a healthcare plan for Politico in an opinion piece — "My Plan to Fix Health Care." The plan has three primary components: refundable tax credits consumers could put toward insurance, insurance regulations to lower costs and protect those with pre-existing conditions, and Medicare and Medicaid reform, including a per-capita block grant system for Medicaid and a premium model for Medicare.  

10. Gov. Walker blamed Senate Republicans for not repealing the ACA earlier this year. "You see, they told us during the last election that if we just elected a Republican Senate, the leadership out there would put a bill to repeal Obamacare on the desk of the president," he said at the Iowa State Fair, according to The Wall Street Journal. "It's August, we're still waiting for that measure. We need to have some leadership in Washington."


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