Affordable Care Act Alternative Now Key For GOP Hopefuls

The Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare will give GOP presidential candidates a new angle to woo voters, but they’ll have to hone their rhetoric and swap out the old “repeal” mantra for well-defined plans to improve it, political operatives say.

The 6-to-3 ruling backs the Obama administration, agreeing that all low- and moderate-income residents should have access to subsidies, regardless of whether they live in states with their own health insurance exchanges, as the law’s wording required, or used the federal exchange instead.

The ruling ups the pressure for Republicans to breathe new life into Obamacare pushback in early-voting states such as New Hampshire, where they’ll need to entice anti-ACA voters with plans that include age-based refundable tax credits and scrapping the employer mandate, said Sally Pipes, head of California-based think tank Pacific Research Institute.

GOP national pundit Ford O’Connell said Republican candidates “will need to provide more than just red meat,” and should focus on three primary changes to the system: allowing consumers to buy insurance across state lines, de-linking it from employment and strengthening patient power over their insurance accounts.

“Voters will want insurance that can travel with you, not the car you’re driving,” O’Connell said.

Read more from Lindsay Kalter at The Boston Herald

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Analysis & Political Strategy