WASHINGTON — The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following remarks in opposition to H.R. 1425, Democrats’ partisan health care bill.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Madame Speaker.
“We’re in the middle of an unprecedented national pandemic. Americans are worried about their health and their jobs.
“Yet here we go again in the Democratic House: Another partisan bill with no input from Republicans, but lots of input from campaign operatives and special interest groups.
“The American people are sick and tired of this partisanship – to my Democratic friends, I say stop playing political games with health care.
“This bill is dangerous to your health in three key ways: It stops life-saving cures from getting to patients who need them most; blocks Americans from buying affordable short-term health care plans that can cover them in between jobs; and threatens to slash state support for Medicaid for the most vulnerable and poor.
“As if that isn’t enough, it doubles down on the most unpopular health care plan in modern history: the Affordable Care Act.
“You remember that disaster – it broke every promise Democrats made to the American public:
– If you like your health care plan, you can keep it. False.
– If you like your doctor you can keep them. False.
– Your health care costs will go down by $2,500 a year. False.
– No American making less than $250,000 a year will see a tax increase. False.
– Obamacare won’t add a dime to the federal deficit. False (by the way, it will add over $1.5 trillion in debt this decade.)
“Here we are, battling the Coronavirus, and hoping against hope as companies partner with the government, racing heroically to bring new treatments and medicines that will save our lives and prevent Americans from being infected.
“Yet today, House Democrats are unbelievably advancing a bill with provisions that the Congressional Budget Office and Council of Economic Advisors predicts will stop as many as 100 life-saving cures from ever getting to the patients who need them most.
“The California Life Sciences Association says the Pelosi plan for government setting medicine prices would mean nearly 9 of 10 new drugs would never be made available – never – from their researchers and small biotech companies.
“These are the medicines that could be the answer to some of the most heartbreaking and devastating diseases – including COVID-19 – that our children, seniors, and families are facing.
“As this pandemic makes urgently clear: We need MORE cures, not fewer. Fewer cures means more lives cut short. Yet leading Democrats shrug off research experts and say: ‘We’re fine with that.’
“Although the Affordable Care Act has improved under President Trump – prices went down in most states, insurance companies stabilized, and many families saw more choices – it remains fatally flawed.
“Two out of three Americans eligible for Obamacare are turning it down – two out of three! They say it’s health care they don’t want, can’t afford, and doesn’t work for them.
“Unbelievably, Democrats are so hell-bent on forcing Americans onto the ACA they are threatening to slash state support for Medicaid unless states buckle to expand Obamacare.
“Holding the poor hostage, threatening to defund the operations of Medicaid? That is immoral. Maybe they don’t remember: the Supreme Court quickly struck down their last scheme to extort states.
“Finally, despite the claims they are expanding health care choice, this misguided bill blocks Americans from buying legal, affordable short-term plans often used by small business workers and Americans who are out of work or in between jobs.
“These health plans aren’t for everyone, but to the three million Americans with these life-saving plans, Democrats say: ‘Tough. If you don’t like your plan, you can’t keep it.’
“There’s a better way than this dangerous, partisan waste of time.
“Real people are hurting. We should work together in Congress to make affordable, patient-centered health care a reality for Americans.
“Last year Republicans proposed legislation that brought together ideas and bills from both members of Congress from parties to lower drug prices and accelerate new cures.
“Health care policy fails when it is partisan. We must work together now to make drugs more affordable, to expand access to quality care, and to lower costs.
“This bill doesn’t achieve any of those goals. It’s partisan business as usual, during a time when our nation calls out for much more.
“Thank you, Madame Speaker.”
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