While the category of entitlements is worth 13 points, the only people who would get all thirteen are the ones who would embark on an orderly sunsetting of all the familiar entitlements: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare. I don’t think any of the contenders would go that far, but we’ll see.
But it also helps to tell me about their vision of the role of government, for the perfect candidate would be most interested in limiting the size and scope of government to a Constitutionally appropriate level. Those who are most willing to divest power to the states and stay out of their affairs will do best. That last part is worth 14 points but also depends quite a bit on previous categories such as education and taxation, among others, as well as fiscal responsibility.
We will then be down to the catch-all category of intangibles and the coveted monoblogue endorsement.
Since he dropped out of the race, I’m off the hook for Rick Perry. That’s sad because he was tracking as a dark horse in my race. Nevertheless, I soldier on with 16 contenders now.
It’s pretty much given that GOP contenders would drop Obamacare like a bad habit, so the question is: what comes after?
- Among other things, Jeb Bush‘s plan would shift the program to the states, with the federal government maintaining a hand in catastrophic coverage and tax credits for premiums.
- Ben Carson is a strong supporter of health savings accounts, which have the benefit of allowing people to share their burden. His idea is to have the government fund each for $2,000 per year.
- Chris Christie hasn’t put forth a replacement plan – but he expanded Medicaid in New Jersey under Obamacare.
- Allowing people to buy health insurance across state lines through the Health Care Choices Act is the Ted Cruz plan.
- “Let’s try the free market,” says Carly Fiorina, with states managing their own high-risk pools.
- Jim Gilmore thinks there are good things about Obamacare, such as the ban on denial for pre-existing conditions and coverage by parents to age 26 but he thinks states can handle those. He would favor a proposal offered by Rep. Tom Price in 2013 that encouraged interstate sale of insurance, premium tax credits, and HSAs.
- Lindsey Graham isn’t specific about “cost-effective, market-driven reforms” aside from favoring association plans.
- I think the Mike Huckabee solution is to pass it on to the states.
- As he has in other areas. Bobby Jindal has an exceptionally comprehensive plan to replace Obamacare.
- John Kasich would adopt what he calls the “Ohio Model” nationwide.
- Whatever George Pataki does to replace Obamacare, it would include the pre-existing condition regulations.
- Rand Paul favors HSAs, allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, and a tax deduction for all health care expenses.
- Tax credits and regulatory reform highlight the Marco Rubio plan.
- Rick Santorum has backed HSAs, tax credits, and selling insurance across state lines but now advocates “federal support for everybody to be able to go out and get the plan they want.”
- Through a spokesman, Donald Trump‘s campaign vowed to make insurance available across state lines and give individual tax relief.
- Scott Walker plans to revert authority to the states and install sliding-scale tax credits based on age to go with the HSAs and selling policies across state lines.
- Scott Walker argues that reform should be pushed to the states as distinct programs.
- Because it’s “not fair,” Donald Trump won’t cut Medicaid (or Medicare.)
- Rick Santorum argued for work requirements and time limits for many entitlement programs, including Medicaid.
- Marco Rubio favors transferring Medicaid to the states via per-capita block grants.
- It sounds like Rand Paul is a “send it to the states” guy.
- George Pataki wishes to “scale back” entitlement programs.
- John Kasich is working with insurers in Ohio on Medicaid reforms, after he took federal Obamacare money to expand it.
- Reverting Medicaid to the states also finds favor with Bobby Jindal.
- Mike Huckabee has floated a proposal to subsidize the uninsurable.
- Lindsey Graham sponsored a 2011 bill to allow states to opt out of Medicaid expansion so he may keep that idea around.
- Jim Gilmore was reluctant to expand Medicaid as Virginia’ governor.
- Carly Fiorina wants to “get our house in order” first.
- Ted Cruz doesn’t like the care people on Medicaid get, but I’m uncertain as to his reforms.
- Turning it over to the states but with “modest” co-pays make up the Chris Christie plan.
- The HSA is thought of as a substitute for Medicaid for Ben Carson since it relies on government chipping in each year.
- Jeb Bush reformed Medicaid as governor, then Obamacare messed it up.
- The left cried that Jeb Bush wished to “phase out” Medicare. Alas, he wants to protect it.
- HSAs may be the panacea for Medicare, too. Why not? Ben Carson seems to have one solution.
- Means-testing, increasing the eligibility age, and standardizing deductibles make up the Chris Christie plan.
- Ted Cruz opposed the “doc fix” bill because he wanted reforms to give seniors “more power and control.”
- The same “get our house in order” argument applies here for Carly Fiorina.
- I found nothing to pin down Jim Gilmore‘s position.
- Means-testing and raising the eligibility age are reform starting points for Lindsey Graham.
- “I will kill anything that poses a threat” to Medicare (as well as Social Security), Mike Huckabee thunders.
- Premium support and Medigap reform highlight Bobby Jindal‘s plan.
- John Kasich argues entitlements have to be “innovated” to survive.
- George Pataki would increase co-pays.
- Rand Paul sponsored Medicare reform legislation in 2013 that would have voucherized Medicare, but he’s supposedly backing off that a little bit now.
- The Marco Rubio vision for Medicare would involve a premium support system, based loosely on Medicare Advantage.
- Rick Santorum would change it via increasing the eligibility age or changing the COLA structure.
- Because it’s “not fair,” Donald Trump won’t cut Medicare (or Medicaid.)
- In 2013 Scott Walker was in favor of cutting Medicare (and Social Security) but it would likely fall on younger workers.
Social Security proposals seemed to fall into three tiers. Most candidates, with the exceptions of Gilmore, Huckabee, Jindal, and Trump, would raise the retirement age. But few (Bush, Christie, Paul, Rubio, and Santorum) advocated for means testing and fewer still (Cruz, Jindal, and perhaps Kasich) had the guts to advocate for partial privatization. Ben Carson even went a bit farther with the idea to allow for wealthier seniors opting out (although it sounds like the money paid in would be forfeited.)
I wasn’t expecting high scores, so it’s no surprise my best candidate has just 7 points.
- 7 points – Bobby Jindal
- 6 1/2 points – Ted Cruz
- 6 points – Ben Carson, John Kasich
- 5 points – Rand Paul, Scott Walker
- 4 1/2 points – Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio
- 4 points – Rick Santorum
- 3 points – Chris Christie, Jim Gilmore, George Pataki
- 2 points – Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee
- 1 point – Donald Trump
Next will be the last major category, role of government.