During the most recent GOP presidential debate, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he was the only one on the stage who has "introduced an actual plan to repeal ObamaCare on Day 1." Since that time, Walker has exited the race, leaving questions as to where the field goes from here concerning ObamaCare.
Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women's Forum, notes that other candidates have views on how to go about repealing ObamaCare but the issue hasn't been brought into the debates.
"I think it would be unfair to say that Governor [Bobby] Jindal's plan wasn't as detailed [as Scott Walker’s],” she says. “Governor Jindal's plan is different in some important ways. He's still in the race. It's pretty remarkable. In the past two rounds of debates, he's been in the second-tier, and ObamaCare is one of the issues he's been most passionate about. Just recently, Hillary Clinton was in the state of Louisiana and criticized Governor Jindal for not expanding Medicaid and he challenged her to a debate on the issue of ObamaCare."
Meanwhile, Manning believes one reason the issue hasn't come up in the debates featuring the top candidates is because Jindal isn't in that pool – not to mention the moderators are "simply are not asking questions about ObamaCare," as she puts it.
"So I think Governor Jindal is really leading the way in terms of replacement plan [concerning ObamaCare],” she says. “Senator [Marco] Rubio has outlined his vision for where he would take the country in a post-ObamaCare world. It's not as specific as Governor Jindal's plan, but to my mind, those are the only candidates to describe an ObamaCare replacement plan."
Manning adds that Senator Ted Cruz has tried to mention ObamaCare during the debates, but there hasn't been much focus on the issue. Cruz promises to repeal ObamaCare on the first day of his presidency. In March, Cruz unveiled an ObamaCare alternative bill in the Senate called the Health Care Choices Act.
"But I would encourage all the candidates, if they have a position on ObamaCare – and especially if they have a plan on how to replace it – to put that information on paper and to put that on their website so that people will know,” Manning says.
“The question is not coming up in the debates. They're not getting an opportunity to talk about it in the media – and it is still a big issue for a lot of Americans and their families."