Scott Walker’s and Marco Rubio’s Health Care Plans Would Move U.S. In a Free Market Direction

Walker and Rubio Depart from Previous GOP Candidates by Releasing Plans Early, Signaling Health Care Will Be a Central Issue for the Campaigns

Washington, D.C. – “Both Scott Walker’s and Marco Rubio’s health care plans are a very good start,” said Dr. David Hogberg, health care policy analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “On balance, these are excellent plans for moving our health care system in a free market direction.”

He also praised the candidates for releasing their plans early.

“Usually, Republican candidates release their health care plans late in the election cycle, if they release them at all,” he said. “By putting these plans out there more than 14 months before the election, Walker and Rubio show they are willing to make health care a central issue of the campaign.”

Both Walker’s and Rubio’s plans contain elements that will help facilitate a free market in health care, including:

  • A refundable tax credit to purchase health insurance
  • Allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines
  • Expanding health savings accounts (HSAs)

“These are all big steps that will empower Americans to become health care consumers,” said Dr. Hogberg. “These will be important drivers in reducing the cost of health care and health insurance while also improving their quality.”

Dr. Hogberg notes that each plan has important elements that the other does not.

Walker’s plan allows consumers to pool together in associations and offer health insurance to members of the association.

“Americans have the freedom to form associations in most other areas of our economy, and they should have the freedom to do so to purchase health insurance,” said Dr. Hogberg.

Rubio’s plan reforms the employer-based tax exclusion for health insurance by gradually changing it over a decade so that its value is equal to the value of the tax credit.

“The tax exclusion is one of the biggest inefficiencies in our health care system,” said Dr. Hogberg. “However, taking it on can be politically risky. Rubio is to be commended for that.”

To help the public better understand what the many conservative/libertarian health care plans contain, the National Center for Public Policy Research has released a publicly accessible spreadsheet that contains all of the plans and summarizes how each one treats the major health care policy issues. This spreadsheet has now been updated to include the plans of Governor Walker and Senator Rubio. To view it, go here:

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

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The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.