Brady Opening Statement at Full Committee Hearing on Pathways to Universal Health Coverage

June 12, 2019 — In Case You Missed It...    — Opening Statements    — Press Releases   

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at a Full Committee Hearing on Pathways to Universal Health Coverage.

Before the start of today’s hearing, Rep. Brady and the top Republican on the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Devin Nunes (R-CA) sent a letter to Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA).  CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.

Remarks as prepared for delivery: 

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for fulfilling your commitment to hold a hearing on the dangerous and controversial Medicare-for-All.

“While our American health care system does have problems, we should focus on improving what’s working and to fix what’s broken, rather than starting over with a massive new socialized medicine scheme that will leave many families worse off.

“Congress is facing another government shut-down this fall.  The government shut down three times last year alone.  So, you’ve got to wonder: The federal government can’t even keep its doors open.  Can you really trust Washington with your life-and-death health care decisions?

“Make no mistake, Medicare-for-All guts quality health care in favor of delays and long waiting lines.

“It gives Washington politicians unlimited control over your health care.  It cancels good, quality health care plans for millions of workers, children, and the elderly.  And it’s so costly – trillions of dollars – it will bankrupt America. 

“Imagine a day in your life under Medicare-for-All.

“You wake up sick, and now you’re worried.  Because that great health care plan your union negotiated for you, the one that took care of you for so many years – it’s gone.  Banned under Medicare-for-All.

“Don’t look to your spouse’s health care plan.  The one their company offered, it’s gone too.  In fact, for the first time in America it’s illegal for employers to offer health care to their workers.

“Don’t feel alone.  You’re one of 158 million American workers who Medicare-for-All cancelled your good plans and forced you into a one-size-fits-all plan run by Washington politicians.

“Your whole family is in the same boat.  Your sister is a single mom whose child was covered under the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program.  That’s eliminated under Medicare-for-All.

“Your brother proudly serves his country in the military, willing to give his life to keep us free.  His health care – TriCare – that’s wiped out.  Banned under Medicare-for-All.  Thanks for your service, soldier. 

“And your parents who scraped by so many years to give you and your siblings a good life, the Medicare Advantage plan they and 22 million other seniors rely upon … well, that’s ripped from them under Medicare-for-All.

“When you get down to it, under the Affordable Care Act the big fib to the American people was: “if you like your health care you can keep it.” 

“Under Medicare-for-All, the big truth is this: “We are coming for your health care plan, and you’re powerless to keep it.”

“You used to have good, dependable health care.  Now you wait four weeks to see your doctor and get that test she says you need.

“And since doctors and hospitals lose money on nearly every treatment they provide in Medicare, experts predict that Medicare-for-All will cause a chronic shortage of doctors, and hospital overcrowding will be an epidemic.

“Maybe it won’t matter, because under Medicare-for-All, politicians and bureaucrats – not doctors – call the shots on your health care.

“That’s not right.  Individuals should control their health care decisions, not Washington politicians and bureaucrats.

“To make matters worse, it’s even more difficult to plan for an operation or test, because if you think getting a straight answer out of an insurance company was hard, just wait till you try to get a timely answer out of a federal worker – who couldn’t care less.  

“Here’s something else the politicians won’t tell you: None of this is free.  Your taxes – and your spouses, and your business – are doubled to pay for this “free” health care.  Doubled.

“Smaller paychecks for your entire life doesn’t make raising a family any easier.

“When you pull the curtain back on Medicare-for-All, the truth is staring at you: Many Americans will pay more, wait longer for health care, and get worse care than you receive now.

“You’ll hear today that none of this is true.  That this is all an exaggeration, scare tactics.

“What’s scary is that all of this is true.

“Private, quality health care plans banned. True.

“One size fits all.  True.

“Washington control. True.

“Tens of trillions of dollars in taxpayer costs that will hurt you and bankrupt America.  Also, true.

“Knowing the truth, can you really trust Washington with your life-and-death health care decisions?

“As Republicans, we are proud to be the party in Congress responsible for creating the crucial Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicare Advantage for seniors, the life-saving Medicare prescription drug program that Democrats opposed en masse and every Democrat on this Committee voted against at the time – and we are proud to have approved America’s first law establishing protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“We will not stand by and let Democrats seize your health care, your choices, and your control over life-and-death health decisions with Medicare-for-All.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”