Rep Kevin Brady Discusses Healthcare at Town Hall Meeting
Congressman Kevin Brady held a Town Hall meeting with the hospital district at the First National Bank of Huntsville on Wednesday morning. Congressman Brady represents Texas’ 8th congressional district and is the senior Republican on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Brady focused most of his remarks on the proposed “Medicare for All” legislation which is co-sponsored by more than half of House Democrats. However, Brady also addressed the problems rural Hospitals have with providing healthcare.
Brady said, “It’s not easy at all fighting to keep quality healthcare here at home. The further you are away from a major city, the more rural it becomes, the tougher the challenge becomes.”
Representative Brady discussed how difficult it was for rural areas to hire and retain physicians, and the difficulties rural Hospitals had making ends meet with Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements that are lower by law for rural hospitals compared to those in cities. Brady said, “We have a long history with Huntsville Memorial about those challenges. The quality care we need in Huntsville is crucially important to the future of this community.”
To meet the unique challenges faced by rural areas like Huntsville Brady talked about two bills he helped to pass out of the House Ways and Means Committee. Brady said, “Chairman Neal and I have joined together on what’s called the Better Act and in a companion bill, called the Hearts Act that focuses on rural healthcare. The Better Act is about trying to get reimbursements right for healthcare and physicians in rural areas.”
Brady discussed the need to work together with Democrats in areas where they can find common ground. Brady said, “The culture I have with Republicans on the committee is that we should wake up every day, working hard to stop bad ideas, and in Washington there are plenty of those. But we ought to wake up each day working equally hard to find common ground.”
Brady then went on to explain where Chairman Neal (D) and he found common ground. Brady said, “We passed out of committee the Prescription Drug Star Act. And what that does is start to crack down on overpriced drugs.” Brady talked about the importance of medical research and innovation, but some drug prices were being inflated after they had been on the market for many years. Brady said, “There is no reason for medicines like insulin that have been around half of my lifetime, to be going up ten-fold in weeks’ time. It can’t be justified. In the Star Act, we require drug companies to justify their price increases.”
Congressman Brady then focused on the main topic of his address, Medicare For All. Brady said, “But I want to talk about one, not just a bad idea, but an idea that I think is dangerous to healthcare, and is especially dangerous to Huntsville Memorial, and our community here in Huntsville.”
Brady explained that Medicare For All had huge support in the house with 177 co-sponsors, which is a majority of the Democrat Conference. And Brady said that Medicare For All was supported by more half of the presidential candidates including several of the frontrunners.
Brady did not ignore the problems with our current healthcare system, however. Brady said, “Our healthcare system is miraculous, but our healthcare system does have some problems. It is too expensive; it is way too complicated. We spend an awful lot on healthcare that does not get down to the providers. Too much gets lost to the middleman.”
Brady said that he thought that we should focus on improving and keeping what is working in our healthcare system, and fix what is broken, instead of throwing out our whole system to start over with Medicare For All. Brady said, “Medicare for All is essentially, socialized medicine, that gives unlimited control of your healthcare decisions to Washington DC. I believe that Texans will end up paying more, and waiting longer, for worse healthcare. They will be worse off than they are with the healthcare system we have today.”
Brady said that not only would Medicare For All give Washington unlimited control of your healthcare, and cancel millions of healthcare plans for workers, seniors, and children, but that it would be costly. He said it would cost “trillions of dollars that will bankrupt America.”
Brady said, “The first and most dangerous impact of the Medicare For All bill, is that it cancels all private healthcare plans. Companies and organizations will be banned from offering healthcare to their workers. In our congressional district, that means 600,000 workers will lose their healthcare. In Texas it is over 21 million Texans that will lose their healthcare plan, because they will be canceled by Medicare For All.”
Brady further explained, “That is not all who will lose their healthcare plan. Under the text of Medicare For All, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) goes away, Medicare advantage, one of the most popular plans for seniors goes away, so does Tricare. Tricare is where we supply healthcare to our military men and women and their families. That is gone under Medicare For All. It is my belief that even Medicare itself, as we know it, ends.”