Carson to outline alternative to Obama’s health law

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson plans to announce his alternative to President Barack Obama’s health care program during a speech Wednesday at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

Carson campaign spokesman Doug Watts confirmed Tuesday that Carson will use his visit to EMU to roll out his health care policy proposals.

A native of Detroit and famed neurosurgeon, Carson gained a national political following among conservative Republicans in 2013 after he criticized Obama’s health care program — nicknamed Obamacare — at a National Prayer breakfast with the president sitting just a few feet away.

During that speech and others, Carson has promoted the use of tax-free health savings accounts as an alternative to costly insurance plans. Money can be contributed before taxes and unspent money can be passed along to others.

“When you die, you can pass it on to your family members, so that when you’re 85 years old and you got six diseases, you’re not trying to spend up everything,” Carson said in his 2013 speech. “You’re happy to pass it on, and there’s nobody talking about death panels.”

He also suggested shifting from Medicaid plans to contributions into individual HSAs for the poor, arguing that “Now they have some control over their own health care.”

The Carson campaign is planning a 2:30 p.m. town hall event Wednesday at EMU’s convocation center.

Earlier in the day, Carson will tour the University of Michigan Medical School, where Carson earned his medical degree in 1977.

The Carson campaign also is holding a $250-a-plate lunchtime fundraiser Tuesday at the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Marriott hotel.

Carson’s visit to Washtenaw County on Wednesday will coincide with campaign stops that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will make in Oakland County for a rally with supporters in Waterford Township and a fundraiser in Bloomfield Hills.

clivengood@detroitnews.com

(517) 371-3660

Twitter.com/ChadLivengood