By Congressman Dave Brat (R, VA-7)
Excerpt from “Friends of Dave Brat, Inc.” message dated March 9, 2017
The GOP’s long-awaited Obamacare replacement plan was released by House leadership on Monday. The bill, called the American Health Care Act (AHCA), eliminates the tax penalty for not complying with the individual and employer mandates, and purchase subsidies, and repeals the Medicaid expansion, effective by 2020. It includes the expansion of health savings accounts (legislation I’ve introduced). That’s all on the plus side.
What the AHCA does not do is solve the problem of rising costs, because the bill keeps many of Obamacare’s rules in place for insurance companies, and also creates a new entitlement program in the form of advanceable, refundable tax credits based on age. In fact, if the goal of the bill is to bend the cost curve down, so far I’ve seen no evidence of that. And, the last thing Republicans need to do with their health care bill is to replicate a system that doesn’t work.
Yesterday I talked with Neil Cavuto about the plan. ICYMI, you can catch it here:
Of course, in this politically polarized climate, there is no rational solution that will not upset huge numbers of Americans. The Democrats knew that going in, and so made their process as opaque and complicated and deceptive as possible to push Obamacare through. They also counted on it being nearly impossible to untangle once it was in place.It is up to conservatives to hold firm on our promises to make sure Obamacare is fully repealed. The arm-twisting and sales pitch will come at us hard, but President Trump is at heart a businessman who ran on the repeal of Obamacare. We are 100% in agreement on that.
In order to get everyone on the same page on the replacement, we need to correct the bill’s misguided approach that focuses on coverage only, while failing to account for the insurance regulations that drove up premiums for Americans buying coverage without government subsidies. For many of my constituents, and about 25 million Americans who purchased Obamacare on the exchanges, the so-called “Affordable Care Act” has been a nightmare as they have tried to navigate significant premium increases and coverage issues without the taxpayer funded subsidies provided to millions of other Americans. The GOP leadership’s replacement plan provides no relief for them, because it does nothing to hold down costs.
That is why the House Freedom Caucus plans to reintroduce its own healthcare bill, the bill that every Republican voted for last year, the bill that completely repeals Obamacare. Then, members will introduce separate legislation for a new patient-centered, market-based model that will bring down costs for every consumer.