Republicans finally got around to releasing a concrete alternative to Obamacare and it’s kind of awful. It reduces eligibility for subsidies to purchase insurance and does away with most of the Medicaid expansion. Even better, it eliminates the requirement that insurance companies cover individuals with pre-existing conditions. Finally, it pays for the whole thing by making employer health plans taxable, an idea that has already proven wildly unpopular.
None of this has a chance of becoming law anytime soon. But as Sarah Kliff notes, the most interesting thing about this plan is what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t completely scrap Obamacare. It doesn’t envision a pure free-market solution and it doesn’t take away coverage from everyone who currently has coverage under Obamacare. To a degree, this plan accepts the status quo and recognizes that we can’t return to the health insurance regime of 2009. As more people gain coverage under Obamacare, it will probably become even more difficult to propose more limited alternatives. The plan put forth by the GOP presidential nominee will likely be even more moderate. And that’s a good thing.