tv Representatives Walden and Brady Unveil Affordable Care Act Replacement... CSPAN March 7, 2017 2:47pm-3:12pm EST
mandate that every american has health insurance. the house ways and means committee will take up the legislation. it meets at 10:30 a.m. and you can see it live on c-span-3. news conference with the chairman of the house ways and means committee and committee of announcing the bill. >> good morning. yesterday, the house energy and commerce committee and the house ways and means committee released the american health care act. it's the budget reconciliation legislation as part of the house republicans' efforts to repeal and replace obamacare. after years of broken promises,
we are proud to put forward a plan that represents a better way for patients and for american families. and this morning, health and human services secretary tom price sent us a letter on behalf of the trump administration in support of our legislation. that's a first step on the path to fulfilling our promises to the american people. we welcome president trump and secretary price's support. we will continue to work with them to get this bill passed into law. let me be clear. our plan is the first step. under our plan, we are moving forward in a positive direction to rescue the individual insurance market and to give flexibility to our states. we are protecting those patients living with pre-existing conditions under our plan. we are not returning to the days of lifetime or annual limits. and we will continue to allow
young adults to remain on their parents' policies until they reach the age of 26 and keep our promise not to pull the rug out from anyone including those on medicaid. we are also creating a new and innovative patient and state stability fund to help low-income americans afford health care and repair the damage done to state insurance markets by obamacare. and we return power back to the states. we strengthen medicaid and we prioritize to help our nation's most vulnerable. simply put, we have a better way to deliver solutions to put parets, not washington bureaucrats first. we provide the american people with what we have asked for and what they have asked for, debater choice, lower costs and flexibility to choose the plan families' uits their needs. introduction of this bill is the
first step in helping american families to obtain truly affordable health care and eager to get started. i now turn it over to the chairman of the ways and means committee, mr. brady. mr. brady: thank you all for joining us today. seven years ago, obamacare put washington in control of americans' health care. and for seven long years, this failing law has hurt more people than it has helped. patients can't visit the doctor that they like and fewer insurers are given fewer options every day. it is getting worse. with president trump now in office, house republicans are taking action to deliver relief to americans now. this week, house republicans have introduced legislation to repeal this failing law and help ensure americans have access to health care that is to their sneeds and not dictated to washington's needs.
it transfers power from washington back to the american people. we restore state control of health care, so it can be designed for the families and communities in each state. we restore the free markets so americans have a greater choice of products to what they need and what their families need. in the ways and means committee, our role is to act now, dismantle obamacare unpopular taxes and mandates that have hurt jobs and driven up health care costs. so people can spend their tax dollars the way they need to. and we are going to help low and middle-income americans to access to low and affordable health care with a monthly tax credit that is immediately available. as secretary price wrote today, this morning, our legislation alliance with the president's goal of rescuing americans from
the failures of the affordable care act. secretary price also wrote that our bill, our bills are a necessary and important first step to fulfilling our promises to the american people. i encourage you to read the bill and cover our action tomorrow. this bill is available for the american public contrast it with the affordable care act. 2,400 pages written in the dark of night and rushed through congress. this legislation is a little over 100 pages. and every american can read and understand it. house republicans promised to deliver it step by step effort to provide relief from obamacare and give people the health care they deserve. we take that critical first step tomorrow. mr. walden: we would be happy to take your questions. reporter: you criticized democrats for years for pushing through obamacare before people
had a chance to read it. now are holding hearings and nobody knows what it's going to cost. aren't you doing the same thing? mr. walden: the entire american people can read it since 6:00 last night. it's not that much to get through. pretty well understood. and keeping in practice with reconciliation legislation. when the democrats did reconciliation and didn't have a c.b.o. score before it went to the committee. we'll proceed with our markup. there will be a c.b.o. score coming and we look forward to that before it comes to the house floor. all members have seen it. reporter: critics are plassing this as ork -- obamacare-like.
mr. walden: we walked through with them the various provisions. i would encourage them to read the bill and find out what's in it. i sent notes and copies over to some of the senators who are seeking the bill. so they can read through it. we are repealing and replacing obamacare. start with the 2015 reconciliation legislation, the underpinning document and we are moving forward to get insurance to create more choices in the marketplace and to do the biggest entitlement reform since bill clinton signed welfare reform into law. these are big measures. we met the test of the president and secretary price who believes this is repeal and reform. we need them on board to make this happen. mr. brady: this is obamacare gone. this is the first and most important step to giving relief to americans to this terrible law and begin the replacement
principles of restoring state controls and restoring the free market that conservatives, moderates and all republicans have built consensus around. dr. price's legislation last year, which we embrace in our republican plan, i have 84 co-sponsors, including members and leaders of the freedom caucus, the r.f.c. and the republican conference. we are following that consensus. and as republicans, we have a choice. we can act now or we can keep fiddling around and squander this opportunity to repeal obamacare and begin a new chapter for the american people. house republicans are choosing to act now. reporter: can you comment on the president comments, he liked the bill. how much of this bill are you not going to negotiate?
on one hand you have conservatives in your own caucus who will hold a press conference. and democrats are going to say it will cover less people and reduce the protections for people. mr. walden: we have held a lot of listening sessions with our nference members and i met individually with the leaders of the groups. we had a lot of discussions over the weekend with the white house and various folks there. it is a legislative process. which now have a bill that's available for all to read and i encourage you to do it and encourage them to do it and look against their own bills and what they have supported in the past and let's have a legislative discussion. there is a process before each of our committees and process at the budget committee and process with the rules committee and it will come to the floor. this is an important step moving forward to fulfill our promise to repeal and replace obamacare.
reporter: the metric of how many people are covered is not the proper way to gauge the success of a health care proposal? mr. walden: it's interesting, because if you go back to what c.b.o. would be covered on the exchange today, they are only off by a two-to-one ratio. 10 million are actually covered. and we are chasing young people away from insurance coverage through the various obamacare mandates. as a result 45% of those people who decided not to sign up for obamacare and pay the penalty instead or get an solution of people under the age of 35. we need to reform those markets and give options to more people to come on to insurance coverage. we believe the reforms under medicaid will allow states to innovate and drive their dollars into coverage rather into the bureaucratic process in order to
get waivers. reporter: you previously said you passed on the exemption of employer-sponsored coverage as one of the main options. what was behind that? is that in the final bill? mr. brady: we have been listening very carefully to the entire conference across the philosophical spectrum about how to restore to states control and create a free market and make sure we do that in a way that balances the budget. we looked very seriously at the option of actually providing the same health care available at work and others to the exclusion at the end of the day, the conference gave us the direction that that is not a provision they were comfortable today. so we decided again to go a different direction. reporter: very simply, will this bill cover more americans or
less americans than are covered right now? affordable th health care than today is the key question. here's what i know in my district. more people have found a way to get out of obamacare than are taking it. and those who have it, frankly can't use it. the deductibles are too hi and the -- high. under our approach by returning innovation to the states and giving americans a broad choice of plans they can actually use, i believe we are increasing access to affordable care to those who want it. that's an important distinction here. and as i see the tax credit, you know, i have a small business background as a chamber of commerce executive. for decades, i watched small business people, entrepreneurs,
mom and pop companies struggle to get health care and get no help. while workers and big businesses got all the help. under the republican plan for the first time, if you work hard and play by the rules, you are treated equally. you get that help. so those businesses frankly aren't taking the affordable care act. those small business people, it doesn't help them. . mr. walden: 222 counties had one option. this year it's 1,022 and that was before humana pulled out. this insurance market is collapsing before our eyes. the c.e.o. of aetna says it's in a death spiral. those are not our words. those are in his words and he's in that market. as i talk to insurers they are looking if they can sustain the losses they are enduring the way the market is created. the facts of the matter what this will or won't do going forward.
the fact is we have arrived at the scene of a pretty big wreck and if we don't intercede now fewer people have access to insurance, period. we are not kicking anybody off medicaid that's on it today. you can read that in the bill pretty clearly. we are going to devolve power back to the states, decisionmaking back to the states and hopefully expand access to affordable insurance that people can take access of. you have one plan and in some cases next year we're hearing there may be zero, that's the gap we're trying to -- roirp mr. chairman, health care is a complicated subject. candidate trump and even president trump has been promising better coverage, lower cost and better health care. you're on the road to that meeting that goal right now? mr. walden: i think secretary price believes that and president trump believes that based on the letters they've sent us, the communications they've issued.
reporter: mr. chairman, so could you just tell us, you have internal c.b.o. numbers and internal numbers of how many people may lose their health care that y'all are working with and is there a reason why you won't share that with us or the american people? mr. walden: we are awaiting for c.b.o. for the score? . reporter: when? mr. walden: that's up to c.b.o. reporter: can you talk about the insurance hikes premiums or hikes or whatever it's being called and how that's different than the current individual mandate? mr. walden: we are looking at continuous coverage. this is not a novel concept, by the way. you'll find a similar version of this to cover pre-existing conditions in medicare part b, medicare part d and in the employer market. so we modeled it after that. one of the issues we found is that some people were gaming the system with guaranteed issues. not they had a pre-existing condition, necessarily, if they pay for nine months of insurance get 12, the other
three for free, automatically come back in the market. that's part of what's causing this spiral downward. what we want to make sure if you have a pre-existing condition you get coverage. and that the coverage is not rated based on that condition, it's just if you let it lapse, if you didn't pay the premiums there was a marginal penalty there going backwards. it's a little bit like you don't get to buy fire insurance for your house when the roof's on fire. you have to buy it ahead of time. it's a little different i realize when it comes to health care but the concept is continuous coverage. you can have a gap for 63 days. basically that's two months. that's how it is in other areas of federal law today. our goal is to make sure if you have a pre-existing
health condition you are not denied or priced out of the market. reporter: chairman brady, repealing the obamacare tax is -- on affluent americans, what's your response to critics
this inevitably this is a tax cut for the rich? mr. brady: i disagree. i look at the 20,000 jobs that have left america because of the irresponsible medical device tax. i look at the health insurance taxes and others that drove up health care costs on americans, especially those who
could least afford it. you run down tax i crease after tax increase after tax increase, they hurt the economy. they hurt health care. they achieve nothing. i don't want americans to continue to struggle under the obamacare taxes which is why we are moving to repeal them as well as the subsidies and at the end of the day, as you all know, for this to pass the senate, this has to balance within the budget and the window we have been given and we'll make sure it does. reporter: where are the deviations between the 2015 ill and this bill this year?
mr. brady: on the side we're focused on, very little from the standpoint of repealing the taxes, the penalties on the as ates and the subsidies well make sure we are defunding planned parenthood and redirecting those dollars to community health centers so women have those services where they need them. so we use the 2015 reconciliation bill as the foundation for repeal, but we go farther with those two key principles -- returning state control so communities can get health care designed for them, restoring the free market so people can choose health care they need. report -- mr. walden: we have crafted the biggest entitlement reform by going to a per capita allotment back to states for the traditional medicaid population. was in the was in the
2015 reconciliation bill. i think that's really important to empower states and to put medicaid on a budget. so that's probably the biggest -- and we have the patient stability and states' stability as well because there's been all this damage done to the market. we want states to come in whether it's texas or oregon. we have vastly different decisionmaking that's going on in health care in our states to be able to help out. reporter: that's a standing fund, sir. will that be an annual pay-in by congress or will that be set up as an endowment? mr. walden: it's a $100 billion fund over 10 years. so that's $1 approximately a year for the states they know that's coming to the state. reporter: on the medicaid, have you talked to any states that didn't expand and determined whether or not they would expand if this law were to go into effect? wahle wled we talked to a lot of states. i heard from governors and had productive discussions. i don't believe they will be allowed to expand if they
haven't expanded before but if they have expansion they can add new people until december 31. because states have told us and others informed us you got to have a transition period here that works for the people that are on medicaid and that works until mr. brady's tax bill is up online and, remember, with the insurance markets, it takes them a year or so to come up with new plans and policies and get them out there. so what we're trying to do is what we pledged we would do -- not pull the rug out from anybody, make sure there is a transition to a better way with more policies, more opportunities and a more fair health system. reporter: have they approved this proposal? mr. walden: you have to ask them. reporter: going in on the tax policy question, your vision. you were talking about the importance for small businesses so this will repeal that net investment tax and the surtax at the upper end. how does that fit into your
broader tax investigation with the rate cuts? mr. brady: well, clearly, we have an economy that's struggling. we're still recovering. we have young people that can't find good-paying jobs. a lot of people have given up. a part of this is to remove the damaging, we think job-killing taxes in the affordable care act. lower the cost. also, it fits into our vision of the tax reform proposal that's built for growth, built for the growth of jobs, of wages in the u.s. economy. i think a key element of the tax credit is that it is really targeted and tailored to the individual. it's a credit that's immediately available to them. it grows and increases with age because your health care costs go up as you get older. it expands with your family because you have greater needs as a family. it's a credit that you can take from small business to small business, from state to state, home if you're starting a
business or raising a family. even as you're approaching retirement. this is unprecedented freedom. i would note, too, in this legislation, thanks to the work of chairman walden, those who are on the a.c.a. today who are watching it slowly collapse, they'll actually be able to buy products off the exchanges, including catastrophic coverage that's very important to them as we make this transition. and so it is very carefully and deliberately thought of. reporter: gentlemen, following up on the tax question, you talk about the tax credit -- [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org] >> house republicans have introduced their proposal to replace the affordable care act. the republicans' health care plan would keep two popular provisions of the 2010 health care law -- allowing children
to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26. also, requiring health insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. among the major changes to the health care law, eliminating subsidies for health insurance premiums and replacing them with tax credits. and getting red of the individual mandate that every american has health insurance. tomorrow, the house ways and means committee will take up the affordable care act replacement legislation. that committee meets at 10:30 a.m. eastern and you can see it our companion network c-span3. >> who will win student cam's grand prize of $5,000? join us at 8:00 a.m. eastern on march 8 for the announcement. this year we asked middle and high school students to produce documentaries telling us, what is the most urgent issue for our new president and congress to address in 2017? we received over 2,900 entries from 46 states, plus the
district of columbia, england, germany, singapore and taiwan. students competed for the chance to win $100,000 in cash prizes in first, second and third place categories. you can log on to our website 30 minutes before our big announcement to view all 150 winning documentries at studentcam.org. be sure to watch the announcement of our student cam 2017 grand prize winner wednesday, march 8 at 8:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. william galsn brookings institute, governance study senior fellow, agenda of thishe president and role of congress. good morning. guest: good morning, sir. as an agenda, how has this president compared to ones?ous guest: this president so far has been long and strong on orders, but slow when it comes to actual