The 2017 Project's Health Care Reform Proposal - Obamacare Alternative?


America’s health care system is among the most muddled, expensive and unfair health care systems in the world. There is medical care rationing based on ability to pay. Medical care prices are set indiscriminately and are rarely available in advance of service. And some groups pay much less for much better health insurance than others.

Fixing such a complicated and costly system does not come easy or quick. So when I hear the criticisms about how the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) got so much wrong, I question their motives. Does any sensible person honestly believe that any law could address all the issues that plague our health care system on the first try? No. People who hate Obamacare are either looking out for their own self-interest, hate government intervention even when warranted, or have an intense resentment for a certain person or persons.

Still, I never dismiss criticism of Obamacare outright. It needs improvement and even the most hateful opponents may have some ideas worth incorporating into the law. Or they may have ideas that make us grateful that Obamacare came first.

The 2017 Project - Health Care Reform Proposal

The 2017 Project’s health care reform proposal is the conservative alternative to Obamacare. The entire
proposal is on the 2017 Project website. The proposal has a three-legged strategy. The three (3) legs are:
  1. Refundable tax credits, regardless of income level, to help buy health insurance in the individual market
  2. Coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions who meet certain terms
  3. Lower health care costs: offering annual refundable tax credit to purchase coverage; providing one-time health savings account (HSA) tax credit to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses; ending tax loop holes; allowing interstate insurance purchases…
I was eager to read this alternative to Obamacare, but I was also skeptical. Eager because it proposes a refundable tax credit for anyone purchasing health insurance. Skeptical because it was clearly a Frankenstein of recent Republican proposals that never caught on for good reason.

Is This A Real Alternative To Obamacare?

It is impossible to compare an outline of a proposal to an already implemented plan. However, it is not impossible to conclude that The 2017 Project is not a real alternative to Obamacare. The proposal reads like a hate letter to President Obama and the Democrats. The focus is not to develop a plan to increase access to affordable health care. Instead the objective is to not let them (Democrats) be the ones to solve the health care access and cost problem. And because of that sentiment, the proposal falls way short of being a replacement for Obamacare.

There are other problems with the 2017 Project’s health care reform proposal. The proposal relies on a hosts of unproven assumptions to project cost savings. Also the proposal’s solution for addressing preexisting medical conditions is confusing and inadequate.


The 2017 Project’s health care reform proposal is a compilation of several Republicans proposals past and present. The proposal’s refundable tax credit and health savings account credit are ideas worth exploring. However, the proposal’s focus on treating everyone as equal purchasers of health care is its downfall. One thing Obamacare understands is that there is a need for different levels of financial support in purchasing health insurance. The 2017 Project health care reform proposal needs to aspire to be more.
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