Congressman Mo Brooks and Sen. Rand Paul offer very different compromises on health care reform…

Brooks: Let the states decide…


Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Vice President Mike Pence met with the House Freedom Caucus to discuss American Health Care Act amendments sufficient to garner House Freedom Caucus support.

During the meeting Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) stated to Vice President Pence that, “The March 23, 2017 Congressional Budget Office scoring of the health care plan states, ‘In 2018 and 2019, according to the [Congressional Budget Office] and [Joint Committee on Taxation’s] estimates, average premiums for single policyholders in the nongroup market would be 15% to 20% higher under the legislation than under [ObamaCare].’”

Congressman Brooks continued, “We promised America we would work to lower health insurance premiums for struggling American families.  Yet the current health care bill does the exact opposite by increasing premiums 15-20% over and above what they would be if we left ObamaCare alone.  That makes no sense.  Notwithstanding that there are many health care bill provisions with which I strongly disagree, as a compromise, I will vote for the health care bill in its current form if a States Rights’ amendment is added that gives states the absolute right to determine for themselves the content and coverages in health insurance policies issued to its citizens.  Hence, a state, not the federal government, shall decide whether its health insurance policies will include Essential Health Benefits.  These are the health insurance provisions that, for example, require grandmothers to purchase maternity care they do not want and cannot possibly use.  The decision to include Title I mandates, and the like, in insurance policies will also be left up to states.  Title I mandates include but are not limited to 26 and under children policy inclusions, pre-existing conditions, community ratings, and all of the other ObamaCare mandates that have forced health insurance premiums to skyrocket beyond the reach of many struggling American families.”

Congressman Brooks concluded
, “Mr. Vice President, I am confident that health insurance premium costs will decline in Alabama if Alabama has control over health insurance cost drivers.  If the White House and the rest of the House GOP Conference will agree to this very constructive, cost-reducing, States’ Rights measure, I will vote for the American Health Care Act.  Those states that want expensive policy requirements can have them, provided they are willing to pay the accompanying higher premium costs.  Conversely, those states that prefer lower premium costs, can take that approach.”

Paul: Keep a lot of ObamaCare in place

Will either go anywhere?

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), an ardent opponent of ObamaCare, is proposing Republicans leave in place the law’s subsidies while spending less on them, a compromise he thinks could gather the support needed to pass a repeal of the law.

The House GOP’s repeal bill was pulled from the floor last month after losing support from both conservative and moderate blocs of the party.

Conservatives opposed the repeal bill because they said its refundable tax credits, which would help people buy health insurance, are a new entitlement.

Those credits are similar to the subsidies under ObamaCare but are based on age, not income.

They would also help the federal government spend less on such credits: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Republican subsidies would be, on average, only half as much as ObamaCare’s by 2026.

Paul suggested that keeping the structure of ObamaCare’s subsidies would placate moderates, even as spending less on them would appeal to conservatives.

Conservatives might be willing to support that because they would avoid voting for a bill that creates something new, Paul said.

“A compromise could be keeping some of those underlying things in ObamaCare … in order to placate people who want that,” he told reporters Monday.

His compromise, he said, would make it so conservatives aren’t “voting to create something they disagree with.”

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