After the years of never-ending denouncements and countless calls to repeal Obamacare, a Republican presidential candidate has finally proposed a coherent alternative. It will come as no surprise that his proposal will strip healthcare away from over thirteen million Americans, a figure that will lead to 9,800 deaths a year, according to the American Public Health Association.
Called the “Patient Freedom Plan,” it would “free” American citizens from the benefits of Obamacare, including the patient protection clauses enshrined in the ACA. In the typical Kochian fashion, it replaces subsidies with tax credits (vouchers) that are very useful- for people who already have healthcare. It does nothing to help the people who would have to re-purchase or do not already have healthcare. POLITICO noted that “like most Obamacare alternatives, there are few specifics.”
It would also open up crosswide state insurance sales, further complicating the issues. DNC representative Eric Walker (no relation) said that “if this vague grab-bag of conservative wish-list items is the best health plan the G.O.P. can come up with for the largest economy on earth, it’s the clearest signal yet that Republicans like Scott Walker are out of ideas and out of touch.”
We absolutely agree with those sentiments. If this is the best that Walker can come up with, one can only imagine what the responses will be from his rivals. Unraveling the ACA will be a very difficult proposition by itself; replacing it with their half-formed ideas and free market delusions would be devastating to American society. Scott Walker once defended Republican refusals to expand Medicaid by saying that it allows low-income families to experience the “American Dream” by not being dependent on the government. America’s people of all incomes, races, and locations deserve better than a teaspoon of bootstraps. We cannot allow Walker and the Kochs to dismantle Obamacare and the social safety net.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.