GOP Candidates’ Lack Of Unified Health Platform May Come To Define Party’s Agenda
Experts warn that congressional leaders need to establish a clear health message for the Republican presidential field before front-runner Donald Trump's unorthodox ideas dominate the conversation. In Iowa, Ben Carson says he wants to replace the Affordable Care Act with "health empowerment accounts." Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates spar over health care in Nevada.
Los Angeles Times:
Republicans Push Again For An Obamacare Alternative, With Donald Trump A Looming Worry
Even as congressional Republicans celebrated their latest symbolic jab at the Affordable Care Act, the GOP confronts an increasingly urgent challenge to develop a meaningful alternative in the face of Donald Trump’s enduring candidacy. More than five years after the health law was enacted, the party still has no unifying healthcare platform. And if Trump extends his run atop the Republican presidential field, his unorthodox healthcare positions may soon define the GOP. (Levey, 1/6)
Iowa Public Radio:
Carson Wants To Replace Obamacare With "Health Empowerment Accounts"
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says he plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with what he calls, “health empowerment accounts.” During a town hall meeting in Panora on Wednesday, the retired neurosurgeon described health empowerment accounts as health-savings accounts, "but with no bureaucrats.” Everyone with a Social Security number would get an account, and families would be able to shift money among themselves to pay for medical care. (Boden, 1/6)
The Washington Post:
Clinton, Sanders Make Competing Cases For Electability In Nevada
[At the Nevada Democratic Party’s “Battle Born Battleground” dinner] Hillary Clinton cited progress made on health care under President Obama and warned against “tearing up the Affordable Care Act.” That was a not-so-subtle jab at Sanders, who has proposed moving to a single-payer system. During his remarks, Bernie Sanders credited Obama for making progress in reducing the number of uninsured but said “we must do better.” “The time is long overdue for this great country to join to the rest of the industrialized world and pass a Medicare for all single-payer program,” Sanders said. (Phillip and Wagner, 1/7)
Elsewhere, following the president's executive action on gun control, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is left to defend how he expanded Medicaid in the state —
The Columbus Dispatch:
Is Kasich’s Medicaid Expansion Different From Obama’s Gun Actions?
Less than three years after Gov. John Kasich bypassed the full Ohio legislature to expand health coverage to low-income people, he assailed President Barack Obama for ignoring Congress and issuing executive orders to restrict gun sales and enhance background checks. (Torry and Siegel, 1/7)