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Megan McArdle

Republicans' Obamacare Alternative, Finally

Walker and Rubio hint at what the party will propose.
He's got a plan.

He's got a plan.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republicans have been saying "repeal and replace Obamacare" for so long that it has started to sound like one of those ceremonial phrases that drop out automatically at opportune moments, like "hellohowareyou" or "thankyouhaveaniceday." The party has conspicuously failed to actually coalesce around a plausible replacement plan, however, which has given these words the hollow sound of a Southern matron greeting a mortal enemy over mint juleps.

Unfortunately, when you're running for president, polite nods to social necessity aren't quite enough. We've known for a while that the serious contenders were going to have to release an actual plan, one with enough details to critique. And sure enough, today Scott Walker has done so, while Marco Rubio has penned a moderately detailed essay in Politico that tells us where his plan is likely to go. So what do they tell us about what the GOP is thinking?