WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the following statement after the House voted to pass the American Health Care Act:
“Today, we took a major step forward to repeal and replace Obamacare. Not only does this legislation rescue millions of Americans from Obamacare’s crushing taxes and collapsing health care market, it lays the foundation for a health care system based on what workers and families want and need. Our proven, conservative solutions will move us away from the government-centered Obamacare model and toward a patient, family, and state-driven approach that will lower costs, expand choices, and increase access to care.
“Thanks to President Trump’s leadership and House Republicans’ unwavering commitment to finding solutions, we are moving forward on our promise.”
Chairman Brady delivered the following remarks in support of the American Health Care Act on the House floor earlier today.
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I first want to thank Chairwoman Black for her leadership on this effort, as well as Chairman Walden of the Energy and Commerce Committee for incredible work.
“As Chairman and on behalf of the Ways and Means Committee – who worked alongside you – I’m honored to speak in support of the American Health Care Act because it guarantees coverage for those with pre-existing illnesses. It guarantees coverage for those with pre-existing illnesses.
“In fact, this bill takes decisive action to repeal all of the bad parts, all of the damage done by Obamacare, and begin a thoughtful, step-by-step process to deliver a patient-centered health care system – not a Washington-centered health care system – for the American people.
“While Obamacare has helped some, far more have been hurt by this law. And more Obamacare failures are piling up every day.
“Just yesterday, Aetna announced that it will exit Virginia’s individual health insurance market next year. And it’s not just the state’s Obamacare exchanges they are leaving behind – Aetna says it will not offer any plans next year on the individual market in Virginia.
“The same thing is happening in Iowa. Democrats, my friends on the other side of the aisle, have done nothing to stop this. Nothing.
“But today, because of this bill, thousands of people will have hope for a new plan to provide the coverage they need.
“Millions of Americans throughout the country are facing terrible options. The people of Texas have been hit particularly hard.
“Between last year and this year, nine health care insurers have exited Obamacare exchanges in the Lone Star State. No other state saw more insurers leave.
“For my families, the failures of this law have come to mean some incredibly tough choices.
“They’ve had to accept that, under Obamacare, you can’t access affordable coverage that is tailored to what they need.
“They’ve had to learn how to get by as their monthly health premiums skyrocket each and every year – bigger than their mortgage payments.
“They’ve had to choose between paying out of pocket for the care they need or not getting care at all.
“Under Obamacare, the ability to receive treatment from the doctor you know – and who knows you – has become a luxury that too many can’t afford.
“Today, with the American Health Care Act that Republicans proposed, we have an opportunity to provide immediate relief from this failing law.
“More than that, we can provide Americans with real choices in health care – not the painful decisions they’ve been forced to live with under Obamacare.
“Under the Ways and Means Committee area, this starts by repealing the law’s crushing taxes and mandates. That’s where the Ways and Means takes action.
“Under Obamacare, the individual and employer mandate tax penalties allow Washington to strong-arm you – to strong arm Americans – into Obamacare plans you do not want and cannot afford.
“In the Republican plan, we repeal the individual and employer mandate tax penalties so Americans have the freedom to make the health care choices that are right for them.
“Under Obamacare, over a trillion dollars in tax hikes were imposed on American families, businesses, and health care providers – tightening Washington’s grip on our economy and our health care system.
“Under the Republican plan, those taxes are gone. Those taxes that burden America’s small businesses and families.
“And, under our plan, we provide increased health savings accounts so Americans can save easier for the out-of-pocket costs that hit them under any health care.
“And, we create a personal, individual tax credit so that Americans can buy plans that are right for them – not what’s right for government. They can choose a plan that can go with them from job to job, state to state, home to start a family or a business, even into those pre-retirement years.
“Today is about taking on a collapsing Obamacare, and replacing, for the American people, health care that they want, they can use, and that they can afford – driven not by what Washington wants, but driven by what American families need in their health care.
“I urge this support.
“I yield back.”
To read more about the bill, click here.