WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at a Full Committee markup of bills from the Subcommittee on Health aimed at expanding consumer-directed health care and lowering premiums.
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Good afternoon, today’s markup is all about giving Americans more affordable health care choices.
“Americans should have the ability to save and spend their health care dollars the way they want and need.
“Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many families, thanks in part to flawed Obamacare policies and regulations.
“I’ve heard from countless individuals across my community in Texas who have been stuck with dwindling options and rising costs.
“That’s why today’s Ways and Means Committee markup is aimed at increasing access and lowering costs for Americans.
“We will advance policies that expand Health Savings Accounts and also allow for individuals to have an off-ramp from Obamacare’s rising premiums by allowing more choice and financial assistance both on and off government-sponsored exchanges.
“While these policies do not reverse the failures of Obamacare, they focus on modernizing and expanding access to consumer-directed plans tied to Health Savings Accounts.
“These reforms will preserve the structural integrity of the consumer-directed approach, allowing them to continue offering lower premiums and bending the cost curve.
“Health Savings Accounts are an important tool for families to set aside money that’s tax-free to pay for needed health care expenses.
“This helps reduce the burden of high health care costs and enables families to plan ahead for events like the birth of a child.
“It’s no wonder why so many families think HSAs are so great. They give choice and lower costs.
“That’s what today is all about – choice. Americans should have a voice when it comes to their health care. That’s why we continue to emphasize competition, innovation, and individual choice. The 11 bills before us today all look to do just that.
“A good example of how we are promoting competition and innovation is H.R. 6301 – the Promoting High-Value Health Care Through Flexibility for High-Deductible Health Plans Act of 2018.
“This bipartisan bill, which is sponsored by Health Subcommittee Chairman Roskam and Congressman Thompson, provides health plans with flexibility to offer smart, high-value health benefits without losing eligibility to make contributions to an HSA. Examples of this include tele-health and primary care visits.
“This bill will enable more plans to qualify for HSAs, helping millions of Americans save for their health care costs and promoting smart health care decision-making.
“That’s just one of a number of innovative bills we will consider today. I want to thank all of our Members for their hard work on the bills before us today.”