Brady: A new day for health care
by Kevin Brady on May 11, 2017 at 11:00 AM
The U.S. House of Representatives took an historic first step in repealing Obamacare last week. This comes after seven years and over 200 committee hearings outlining the growing problems and impending collapse of Obamacare. In Texas, we have seen nine insurance providers leave the market in the last two years, and 94 out of 254 counties have just one insurance provider. This leaves 1.2 million Texans with fewer choices and higher costs.
As Chairman of the Ways and Means committee, I am proud to have written about half of the American Health Care Act that passed the House so we can finally provide Americans with patient-centered healthcare that fits your family's needs.
This could not have been possible without the leadership of President Trump, Vice President Pence and the Republican leadership team. Although this is just the first step, it is a giant pivot in the right direction so that Americans no longer have to struggle under the $1 trillion in tax hikes brought on by Obamacare.
Under the bill, Americans, especially small businesses, will no longer be forced to buy healthcare they do not want or cannot afford. The bill guarantees coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and Americans will be able to save in their health savings plans for those big, unexpected out of pocket costs. And, we are allowing a personal tax credit that can go from job to job, state to state, providing flexibility and ease for people to raise a family, grow a business or plan for retirement.
Make no mistake, we promised to repeal Obamacare and we have, but there is more work to be done working closely with Secretary Price to make administrative changes and passing additional legislation.
As America celebrated the National Day of Prayer, our President stood up for free speech and religious liberty. The Johnson Amendment, named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and enacted into law in 1954, regulates tax-exempt organizations such as churches and religious groups from being politically involved and limits their freedom of speech.
Over the years constitutional rights of religious organizations were grossly restricted due to Washington's broad interpretation of the amendment. While I still intend to strike down the amendment in our tax reform bill, I was encouraged to see President Trump issued an executive order that accomplished the same objective. I am pleased to be working closely with an administration that shares the same values and core conservative principles to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans.
President Trump hailed last week's federal spending deal as a "clear win" for America and I agree. In 2017, we are making a solid down payment on getting our military and our border patrol what they need.
Congress took the boldest step in a decade to secure our borders and end the disastrous catch and release policies of the Obama era. We also ended funding for the Green Climate Fund and EPA staffing levels are now back to the same level as when Bill Clinton was Governor of Arkansas.
National Right to Life confirmed the bill "does not contain any earmark, line-item or set aside for Planned Parenthood" nor any new funding for Obamacare.
With this budget, the deck is cleared to move ahead with pro-growth policies for America.