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Jeb Bush offers some recommendations on improving health care in the U.S.

in 2017/Top Headlines by

A major criticism that Democrats and members of the news media have charged against Republicans critical of the Affordable Care Act is — what would you replace it with?

In a post on Medium this morning, Jeb Bush attempts to answer that criticism  by declaring that the fight against Obamacare is nowhere near over, and says he has some “specifics” to replace it with.

“I  was disappointed by last week’s Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case,” he writes. “But that decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare. This fatally flawed law imposes job-killing mandates, causes spending in Washington to skyrocket by $1.7 trillion, raises taxes by over a $1 trillion and drives up healthcare costs. Instead of fixing our healthcare system, it made the problems worse.”

Here are his prescriptions for a better healthcare system than the ACA. You can make up your own mind on how specific they truly are:

  • ObamaCare has proven that Washington cannot impose a one-size-fits-all fix for our health care problems. Instead, we should empower states to implement local, accountable solutions that work for their citizens.
  • Having a pre-existing condition should not mean patients have to worry about keeping their coverage or getting the care they need. We need a conservative solution that works for those patients.
  • I want to protect every American against catastrophic medical expenses — no one should lose their life savings due to an illness or accident.
  • Health care should be more responsive and easier to navigate through transparency, innovation, and accountability in the health care system.
  • Individuals should get tax relief for their premiums and their care. That will help make health coverage portable, helping Americans who change jobs or start their own businesses.
  • We should also strengthen employers’ ability to offer more choices at lower costs. We need to make care more affordable for small businesses. This involves better data on prices and outcomes, flexibility for employers promoting wellness programs, and the ability to offer more innovative benefit designs.

Much of what Bush calls for is hardly controversial and something that seemingly most people would support. What’s left unsaid are the details. For example, what’s a “conservative solution” to ensure that people with pre-existing conditions don’t lose their coverage? He doesn’t say.  The fact that under the Affordable Care Act patients cannot lose their insurance because of a pre-existing condition is probably the single most popular aspect of the entire bill.

And writing that health care should be “more responsive and easier to navigate through transparency, innovation and accountability in the health care system”? Is there anybody out there who doesn’t agree with that? Bush is surely correct is stating that we still lack such transparency with the Affordable Care Act.

As the former governor has recently said when asked about polls, “It’s only June!” So maybe he doesn’t have to have the specifics in place just yet, nearly a year before the party’s convention in Cleveland. But surely voters should demand specifics of all of the candidates who say they’ll repeal the now five-year-old law that is providing healthcare coverage to the estimated 10-11 million people currently on the ACA.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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