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Scott Walker unveils plan to repeal, replace Obamacare

In the first major policy speech of his presidential campaign, Walker unveiled his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare.

In the first major policy speech of his presidential campaign, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his plan to repeal and replace Obamacare Tuesday morning at a machine shop in Minneapolis.

"On my first day as President, I will send legislation to the Congress that will repeal Obamacare entirely and replace it in a way that puts patients and their families back in charge of their health care - not the federal government," the Republican 2016 hopeful said.

Walker said his "Day One Patient Freedom Plan" would lower insurance premiums by up to 25% by eliminating regulations in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

The governor's policy address comes amid a striking slump in national polls. Walker, once considered a top candidate for the Republican nomination, has fallen well behind Donald Trump, who is leading the GOP field with 24% in the latest CNN/ORC poll, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Related: Scott Walker supporters hope winning streak extends to White House

Similar to Obamacare, Walker wants to provide tax credits for people not insured by their employer. However, in his plan there would be no federal exchange, and the credit amount would be determined by age, instead of income level and family size.

Walker also proposed allowing people to buy insurance across state lines, increasing the contribution limits on tax-free Health Savings Accounts, and incentivize HSA's with a $1,000 tax credit. The plan will also reorganize Medicaid into three more targeted parts.

Walker says his plan would remove the current mandate that everyone purchase insurance, but still protect Americans with pre-existing conditions through unspecified additional reforms.

According to the latest Gallup survey, the rate of people without insurance dropped six percentage points, to just 11.4% since key Obamacare provisions began in 2013— the lowest since tracking began in 2008. The sharpest declines occurred with Hispanics, African Americans, and lower-income Americans.

The governor has made congressional Republicans' failure to repeal the health law a central part of his stump speech.

"You see, they told us during the last election that if we just elected a Republican Senate, the leadership out there would put a bill to repeal Obamacare on the desk of the president," Walker said during a speech Monday at the Iowa State Fair.

"It's August, we're still waiting for that measure," he added.

In Minneapolis, Walker emphasized "just like I did in my own state, I am willing to take on anyone - including members of my own party - to get the job done."

Walker was not the only Republican presidential candidate to address health care reform this week. In a Monday op-ed in Politico, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also called for repealing and replacing Obamacare.

"Instead of relying on an outdated, big-government approach, I will utilize modern, consumer-centered reforms that lower costs, embrace innovation in healthcare and actually increase choices and improve quality of care," Rubio wrote. 

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