House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady dismissed criticisms the House GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill is “Obamacare lite” Monday.
While some division remains in the party over certain provisions, the legislation was introduced Monday and is expected to be marked up in both the Ways and Means Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday. Brady said the bill fulfills the GOP lawmakers’ promise to their constituents to repeal the ACA and expand access to better, more affordable coverage.
“It is ‘Obamacare gone’ because we repeal all those taxes, those mandates, those subsidies. There is nothing left there. Instead, we give them the same tax break that we give workers at big businesses,” Brady told Fox News. “We give that same tax help to small business people. Those mom and pop businesses, workers at small businesses, even those entrepreneurs and families in between jobs, the ability to buy a plan that is right for them.”
The comments come after a number of conservative members expressed hesitation over language pertaining to tax credits they felt created a new entitlement program — hesitations over a 30 percent premium increase on those who drop coverage.
“I think maybe, most importantly, we are giving Americans the freedom who haven’t gotten health care at work and they don’t have it in a government program, freedom like they’ve never had before to buy health care that is right for them,” Brady continued. “This is clearly ‘Obamacare gone’ and new freedom.”
Members on the committees of jurisdiction stayed through the weekend to address areas of concern and hash out the details of the text. Brady said he is “confident” they will be able to pass the legislation.
“We’ve been listening very carefully to our Republican members for months now and over the weekend as well to make sure we get it right for them,” he said. “The changes you see in this legislation that’s online tonight and available for Americans to read, I think are exactly in the right place.”
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