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Mitch Perry Report for 3.26.15 — How viable is Rubio’s plan to replace the ACA?

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

I wrote up several stories regarding polls in Florida yesterday, and in one of those stories I wrote briefly about Marco Rubio’s plan to replace Obamacare.

As we all know, the GOP has been castigated for being nattering nabobs of negativism (to trot out that golden oldie written by Pat Buchanan and uttered by Spiro Agnew) when it comes to the Affordable Care Act; always criticizing, always (in the House) voting to repeal, but barely able to come up with any substantial plan to address the plight of the (tens of) millions who don’t have insurance, and certainly wouldn’t have it if the federal government hadn’t intervened.

In an op-ed published the other day, Rubio lays out what he would do. It includes:

A refundable tax credit that all Americans can use to to purchase health insurance. He writes that “The value of these credits should increase every year, and we should set the tax preference for employer-sponsored insurance on a glide path to ensure that it will equal the level of the credits at the end of the decade.”

He wants to put some of this on the states, and allow people to purchase coverage across state lines. He wants to expand health savings accounts. But he also says that “Americans with pre-existing conditions should be able to find coverage through their state’s federally supported, actuarially sound high-risk pools.”

Should be able to? One of the triumphs of the ACA is that it’s now illegal to deny coverage to someone with pre-existing conditions. That sounds a little vague.

And finally, he says that Medicaid should be put “into a per-capita cap system, preserving funding for Medicaid’s unique populations while freeing states from Washington mandates.” And then he quotes Paul Ryan’s plan to transition Medicare into a “premium support system.” That will be controversial.

The fact is, if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare’s federal subsidies, there will be a need for something viable to replace it. Rubio’s plan may not be the best, but there isn’t any “best” when it comes to the government dealing with healthcare in the U.S., as we’ve learned.

In other news…

We wrote a lot about polls on Wednesday. Several of which were in contradiction of each other. Let’s see.

There was the St. Leo University poll that showed that a plurality (but not a majority, because the masses don’t care) are disturbed by Rick Scott’s dismissal of Gerald Bailey at FDLE.

That same poll directly contradicted a PPP poll from the previous day in showing that a majority of all Floridians are excited that Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are running for president.

There was another poll that came out on Wednesday that showed that one-time GOP U.S. Rep. Allen West is actually the favorite of Florida Republicans for the 2016 U.S. Senate seat.

Speaking of the Senate, Charlie Crist came out and endorsed Patrick Murphy in the 2016 Democratic race.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz held a conference call to blast Marco Rubio, who is doing his fair share of dominating the GOP criticism of President Obama when it comes to the delicate situation with Israel.

The so-called Right to Try bill advanced in the Florida House. And the House is working on redoing a law on teen sexting as well.

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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