Anti-Obamacare but Pro-What Exactly?

By Hayden Harb, Policy Advisor

Just a few short years ago, the Republican Party held a trifecta of government in Washington. Margins in the House and Senate were favorable and a GOP President held the pen to sign or veto. In the cycle leading up to this Republican sweep, many candidates, including the then-President, had run on a promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While this seemed well and good at the time (many conservatives have legitimate gripes with the ACA’s mandates and requirements), the GOP soon learned that their promises were easy to make and difficult to put into practice. In 2017, the Republican-led Congress attempted to repeal the ACA, but fell short of the votes needed, due to intra-party divisions. In the time since, a global pandemic has only further highlighted the healthcare pitfalls of the American system — leaving the Republicans with a dire need to come to terms with a simple fact: the GOP cannot just be the anti-Obamacare party. We must stand for something new.

We must provide substantive policy platforms in order to advocate for reform and repair our broken health care system. Leading up to the 2020 general elections, polling showed that 68% of Americans considered healthcare to be a very important consideration when choosing a candidate, second only to the economy. Furthermore, this same study shows that 51% of voters believe the Democratic Party would perform better with health care policy, compared to only 37% of voters who believe Republicans would handle health care better. Rather than just campaigning against the Affordable Care Act, we must articulate our own policy alternatives in order to win elections, so we are actually able to better the American health care system with our reforms.

A Republican health care policy is more than just repealing Obamacare. A plan hailed by many conservatives as the best alternative to Obamacare is the Health Care Choice Proposal. This proposal is centered on empowering each consumer to make individual decisions, while also decentralizing Medicaid policies to state governments. To start, the Republican plan focuses on allowing states to develop their own Medicaid policies that are tailored to their specific needs and health realities as a state. This releases states from burdensome regulations that mandate the products available to be purchased, regulations which limit the free market and cause health care costs to rise unnecessarily. In addition, current regulations require states to charge high premiums to individuals that are typically low risk, such as young adults who typically do not require as much in regard to health care services, leading to unfair costs placed on younger generations. The Health Care Choice Proposal would lower premiums up to 32 percent, according to an analysis by the Center for Health and Economy, making coverage much more affordable for many Americans.

The Health Care Choice Proposal also aims to decrease the reliance on Medicaid by allowing states to provide grant-based funding approaches, which allow for individuals to compare the plans of private insurance companies and choose the company that provides the best coverage for their individual circumstances, rather than being forced into an unspecific, poorly arranged, one-size-fits-all plan framed by legislators or bureaucrats. This encourages competition between health insurance companies which not only improves the quality of health care and insurance coverage but also lowers the cost of healthcare and coverage.

Moreover, the Health Care Choice Proposal would stop taxpayer subsidies to insurance companies, which allow these insurance companies to raise prices knowing that the federal government will pay every additional dollar, hurting the federal budget and contributing to the deficit. Rather, the federal government would reallocate this money to states, who would then use it to help qualifying individuals choose a private coverage plan that they deem best, further encouraging competition, leading to better plans and coverage.

Experience has proven that the American healthcare system, as it exists today, is broken and will require significant reform. These reforms must focus on strengthening our health care system, lowering health care costs, and increasing health care quality. As health care remains at the forefront of political discussion and the top of voters’ priorities, we cannot continue to allow conversations around healthcare reform to be entirely driven by the left’s suggestions of impractical and idealistic policies. It is the job of Republicans to engage with the concerns of all Americans and offer realistic solutions with concrete results.



We’re Gen Z and we’re charting a new path for the republican party.

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We’re Gen Z and we’re charting a new path for the republican party.