If a Republican wins the White House next year, the repeal of ObamaCare is just a matter of time–and it likely will happen sooner rather than later.  

Three Republican hopefuls have already released plans to repeal and replace ObamaCare.  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal came out with his plan some time ago. Senator Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker are just out with their plans.

The editors of National Review did an excellent summary of the Walker plan:

Scott Walker is putting forward a plan to replace Obamacare that conservatives and voters generally ought to find very attractive. It takes a scythe to Obamacare’s regulations: The plan restores states’ pre-Obamacare role as the lead health-care regulators. The individual and employer mandates would vanish. The federal government would no longer determine which benefits are “essential” for everyone’s health insurance. At the same time, the plan would enable anyone who wants catastrophic health coverage to get it.

The plan has four key parts. First, Obamacare’s regulatory centralization would be reversed. Second, tax credits would be provided to enable people to buy insurance. These credits would vary by age but would not vary by income — avoiding a feature of Obamacare that has added a great deal of complexity and has reduced incentives to work. Third, states would gain authority and responsibility over much of Medicaid. Federal aid per capita would be capped so that states no longer had an incentive to spend more money. Fourth, health savings accounts, which allow people to save tax-free to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, will be greatly expanded.

Obamacare’s two main political strengths have been that it provides coverage to a lot of people who lacked the income to get it, and that it protects sick people from facing discrimination by insurers. Walker’s plan shows that these benefits need not be tied to Obamacare’s intrusive regulations and taxes

As might be expected all GOP plans are market-centered and decentralized. All would remove the federal government's enormous regulatory power. But, as James Capretta says in a piece on the two newer proposals, there are differences:

[T]he Rubio plan differs from Walker’s approach in certain ways as well. It would gradually phase out (over ten years) the tax preference for employer-paid health-insurance premiums in favor of a universal tax credit that would be made available to all Americans, whether or not they have access to a job-based option.

This approach is “fair” in the sense that it would ensure that all Americans were treated identically in terms of the tax treatment of health insurance. However, it is more vulnerable to political attack than the Walker approach because it would create some uncertainty about the continued viability of existing employer plans.

For that reason, it seems likely that the Walker approach to tax credits would hold up better over time, especially when the inevitable attacks come from Obamacare’s defenders. The Rubio plan would also help people who have expensive preexisting conditions by giving them direct government subsidies instead of limiting what insurers can charge to people with continuous coverage. On this issue, too, Walker’s approach might be more attractive to voters because it does not depend on continued appropriations for high-risk pools, which have been chronically underfunded in the past.

To Rubio’s credit, his plan includes reform of the Medicare program for future program entrants, relying on the same principles of consumer choice and competition that inform the rest of his plan. Walker’s plan leaves aside Medicare for consideration in a separate proposal.

Thes are serious plans, and Republicans should be proud.If the GOP can repeal and replace ObamaCare, which suddenly looking well within sight, the ever-optimistic Bill Kristol believes that it will signal a new day in American political history:

The successful repeal and replacement of Obamacare would be a huge victory for American conservatism. It would be the greatest blow to the Left, and the biggest policy victory for the Right, certainly since welfare reform 20 years ago, and probably since Reagan's reversal of tax policy in 1981. It would be a moment when conservatives move beyond slowing down the progress of the liberal welfare state and move toward executing a policy U-turn toward re-limiting government and empowering citizens.