By Priscilla Jones
Congressman Dave Brat has served in the House of Representatives for only four years, yet he’s already showing that he intends to be a leader for a very long time. This is not surprising, since he was elected in one of the biggest political upsets in decades after having the guts to challenge Eric Cantor, then-second-ranking member in the Republican majority. Brat “primaried Cantor” soundly.
Obviously, Rep. Brat isn’t afraid of a fight – or
unwilling to challenge stale, moss-covered status quo. Virginians expect him to show fearless leadership as policymakers search for ways to reform the rapidly-failing Obamacare mess, restore some semblance of markets and meaning in health care, and stop the next half-hearted, half-baked measure put up by The Swamp in Washington.
Congressman Brat has solid credentials and proven ideas. Unlike most Republicans, he was right that the so-called American Health Care Act would not work – politically or policy-wise. “You see what’s happening?” the outspoken House Freedom Caucus member asked reporters. “We’re going to craft one-fifth of our national economy in two weeks on the fly; and if you don’t see the problem with that intellectually over the last few hundred years, across countries, we’ve got a problem.”
Brat also hit the mark in speaking truth to power about what the Republicans were proposing when he asked, “Guess what my people back home think I should do? Do another federal healthcare system that does most the components of Obamacare? If the Democrats had proposed this bill six years ago, what would Republicans have said? ‘No.'”
Rep. Brat tried to “get to yes” – as he said here.
Now, Republicans are back for another try – will this one succeed? After examination, let’s hope not.
The Washington Post points out, “The crux of the new proposal would be to allow states to seek exemptions from certain mandates established under the Affordable Care Act — including a requirement that insurers cover 10 ‘essential health benefits’ as well as a prohibition on charging those with preexisting medical conditions more than the healthy.”
Here’s a very interesting take from GOP attorney Gayle Trotter:
“In a move familiar to observers of the Democrats’ mangled attempts to make ObamaCare less unwieldy, the bill allows state governments to apply for waivers from current regulations including the essential health benefits and price controls manipulations for pre-existing conditions (known as the community rating regulations).”
“States would have the option to jettison two major parts of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance regulations,” explains The New York Times. “They could decide to opt out of provisions that require insurers to cover a standard, minimum package of benefits, known as the essential health benefits. And they could decide to do away with a rule that requires insurance companies to charge the same price to everyone who is the same age, a provision called community rating.”
Trotter concludes, “With latest ObamaCare repeal plan, GOP can kiss majority goodbye.”
There is a better way, as the Congressman recently wrote. The question now on everyone’s minds is, “Can he show the same leadership now? Will he drive the process to include real and authentic repeal of Obamacare with a conservative policy replacement?”
To change Obamacare, we need comprehensive reform that will enable every American to enjoy health coverage, lower costs, increased patient choice, improved access and quality, and the protection of the patient-physician relationship.
It’s on Dave Brat’s official website. Let’s hope he sticks to it.