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Rep. Brat Statement in Support of Revised Health Care Legislation

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Washington, April 29, 2017 | Juliana Heerschap (202-225-2815) | comments
WASHINGTON - Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) provided the following statement regarding the MacArthur amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA):

“The American Health Care Act does not fully repeal Obamacare. It is not the bill I wanted to see considered on the House floor. In fact, I cosponsored a comprehensive Freedom Caucus-backed repeal and replace plan introduced earlier this year.

After good faith discussions with both House Leadership and the White House, it became clear that conservatives would have to work to improve the AHCA, as it was the only legislative vehicle that would be considered and brought up for a vote in the House.

The efforts of the approximately 40 members of the Freedom Caucus have moved this legislation as far as we could in the free market direction without losing votes. Ultimately to pass legislation in the House of Representatives we must meet a threshold of 218 votes. Obamacare is falling apart and a solution must be found as soon as possible. Taking into consideration the political dynamics of a diverse Republican conference, I firmly believe this bill is the best path forward for conservatives to get any real and beneficial health care reform passed.

When it was first introduced last month, the AHCA did many good things: it repealed most of the Obamacare taxes, ended Medicaid expansion, and included reforms to Medicaid by giving states more decision-making authority. It also abolished bailouts to insurance companies while increasing flexibility in providing plans to consumers.

Thanks to the work of conservatives, the bill now immediately eliminates taxes that would have been left in place under the AHCA, creates a work requirement for Medicaid recipients, lowers healthcare costs, and continues to protect those with pre-existing conditions.

These changes, known now as the MacArthur Amendment, recognize the principles of federalism by granting states the choice to roll back the core cost-driving components of Obamacare that were left intact by the original AHCA. This approach turns over control and decision-making authority to the states, rather than leaving Americans’ health care decisions to federal government bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.  This improved bill also includes a key provision to ensure Members of Congress will have the same health care options as everyone else, with no preferential treatment.

I still want to see Obamacare fully repealed. However, I believe this amended bill, as written, will use market mechanisms to lower healthcare costs for those trapped under the high premiums and deductibles of Obamacare. Therefore, I am voting yes."

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