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Chairman Brady Opening Statement at Markup of Bipartisan Health Bills

September 05, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at a Full Committee markup of health bills.

CLICK HERE to watch the markup.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Today we have before us several bipartisan health bills which will improve how our government functions – from Medicare fraud prevention to burden reduction through streamlined processes, which has been a key initiative the Health Subcommittee has undertaken this year through the Medicare Red Tape Relief Project.

“It’s critical for this Committee to continually search for new reforms – especially when that means helping our nation’s seniors. It’s our duty to ensure our seniors are getting the best possible service and help when making health care decisions.

“A great example of this is the Fighting Fraud to Protect Care for Seniors Act of 2018. This bill, which is sponsored by Health Subcommittee Chairman Roskam, will help prevent fraud within Medicare by testing the use of smart card technology. This will ensure the right folks get the care they need. Every dollar we save from fraud is a dollar that will go to seniors who need healthcare services.

“For the sake of time, I’ll only mention one of the health bills before us today, but as is our custom the sponsors of each of the bills on both sides of the aisle will offer opening statements as we consider each bill in turn today. 

“In addition to the bipartisan health bills we’re looking at today, we also have a trade resolution, which has been introduced by Trade Subcommittee Ranking Member Pascrell. This is a resolution that’s really about China. 

“And on China, it’s important to remember that we start with strong bipartisan agreement that China’s unfair trade practices significantly harm U.S. farmers, workers, and businesses. Without question, strong action is needed to hold China accountable and level the playing field. 

“I fully agree with the conclusions in USTR’s Section 301 Report earlier this year on China’s unfair practices, inequitable treatment, and outright theft related to intellectual property, forced technology transfers, and unfair licensing policies. President Trump is right to insist that these abuses must stop.

“Our goal is long-term, enduring reform to China’s trade and investment policies, including changes to Chinese subsidies, tariffs, other trade barriers, and predatory intellectual property policies.

“I joined many of my Ways and Means colleagues earlier this summer in urging President Trump to personally engage with President Xi to achieve a negotiated solution to these issues. I am confident that President Trump can achieve a strong and ambitious outcome once China comes to the negotiating table. 

“At the same time, we must target any response to China to minimize unintended consequences to our local U.S. businesses. Broad tariffs can boomerang to harm American companies, farmers, workers, and consumers.”