(Bloomberg) — Jeb Bush, like other Republican presidential candidates, is vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, while making health care more innovative and affordable.
Bush's health care plan, outlined this week, discusses how he'd change a system that accounts for about 18% of the U.S. economy. The former Florida governor said he wants to increase innovation, reduce the cost of care, and give individual states more control over how they take care of their citizens.
“Instead of promoting innovation,” the ACA “regulates and taxes innovation. Instead of empowering problem-solvers in the real world, it embodies the liberal ideal that Washington needs to and can solve every problem,” Bush's plan says.
About 9.9 million people get health coverage through the insurance marketplaces set up by the ACA, with 8.4 million getting subsidies to buy policies. The president's health reform law also expanded Medicaid coverage to more low-income individuals, though some states have opted out of that part of the law.
To help individuals afford coverage, Bush wants to give people tax credits to help them buy insurance. That's similar to the ACA, where individuals with low incomes can get government aid to buy policies. Bush's plan also emphasizes the use of health-savings accounts, and would let people contribute up to $6,550 per year.
Bush also wants to tax health premiums that are paid by employers that exceed $12,000. A similar initiative in the Affordable Care Act, known as the Cadillac tax, is facing repeal efforts from both Republican and Democratic legislators. It taxes employer-paid premiums above $10,200 for an individual plan, starting in 2018.
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have also focused on the affordability of health care, and they've turned the high cost of some drugs into a campaign issue.
Bush also plans to put forth a separate plan for Medicare, the U.S. program for the elderly and disabled, according to a document released Monday.
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