Dave Brat is very optimistic about a new health care compromise being negotiated by Pence, even predicting they will pass the compromise in the next few weeks:
Rep. Dave Brat, one of the conservative Freedom Caucus leaders whose resistance helped undermine the Republican health care proposal last month, says White House and congressional negotiators are close to a compromise that he predicts will pass the House in the next three weeks.
“Within a few weeks, I think D.C. is going to be a little bit shocked,” he said in an interview with Capital Download. “We’re going to get to yes.”
The health-care deal being negotiated by Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and others would enable states to opt out of two insurance requirements that Obamacare advocates see as fundamental. One is community rating, which requires insurers to charge the same price to people who are the same age. The other is defining minimum benefits that a plan must cover.
‘That’s the conservative principle, right?” Brat said. “Fifty laboratories, 50 experiments going on simultaneously where you can see what works and what doesn’t work.”
But critics say doing away with community ratings means insurers would be able to charge much higher premiums to those with serious health problems, making it impossible for them to afford coverage. They say eliminating what’s known as essential health benefits could lead to coverage of little value when people actually get sick and need treatment.
Brat argues it meets free-market principles and will reduce health-care costs for most Americans. And he says even the Senate, where to pass a bill Republicans can afford to lose only two votes, is likely to act as well. “This isn’t about Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, right, and your community leaders,” he said. “This is the big time, with trillions of dollars at stake. They’ll be a war; there always is. Somebody will get thrown under the bus — usually people with principles. But this is a win-win, and the Senate, there’s going to be pressure on the Senate, too.”
This is a stark contrast from Brat a few weeks ago when Trump and Team Ryan were trying to get us to pass a crappy health care bill. He is far more optimistic now and even suggests that the Senate will pass this bill.
On the substance the waiver system sounds like a good compromise. It’s really sad, however, that this is where we are, that we just can’t outright repeal Obamacare.
But if states can waive off these awful parts of Obamacare and it will end up reducing the cost of premiums and health insurance overall, then it’s probably worth doing.
And honestly if Dave Brat is excited about it and calling it a win-win, then I think that bodes well for the cause of actually fixing our healthcare system.