Rep. Dave Brat on his reasons for voting against Trump’s health bill; ‘We can still get healthcare right’

Two days after House Republicans pulled President Trump’s beleaguered healthcare plan meant to replace the Affordable Care Act, one of its Freedom Caucus detractors, Rep. Dave Brat, R-Richmond, claimed, “We can still get healthcare right.”

Virginia’s Senate Democrats also agreed reforms were needed in the way Americans get medical care as the complex issue continues to simmer in both Washington and Richmond.

Brat wrote a lengthy opinion piece Sunday for The Bull Elephant conservative blog that included as its introduction, an email from a constituent: “You guys need to get back to work and make progress, even if it takes a series of bills and more time. I want progress, not perfection.”

According to the Congressional Budget Office, Trump’s attempt at healthcare reform would have left 14 million fewer people uninsured in the first year, and 24 million by 2026 due to deep Medicaid cuts for low-income Americans. It had more expensive deductibles, repealed subsidies and would have generally increased medical costs for older people while lowering them for younger people, according to the CBO.

“It would stand to reason that if we truly want to pass a bill, to make good on a promise of the past 7 ½ years to repeal and replace the broken law, we would put the same bill forward that already passed with near unanimous GOP support,” Brat wrote of a 2015’s House Resolution 3762.

Brat said the Trump’s bill was unnecessarily rushed through and that Republicans needed “to take the time to get it right.” The congressman said the legislation would have increased premiums 15 to 20 percent until 2020, saying it embraced and replicated Obamacare.

Brat instead favored his idea from last year of expanding tax-free, self-funded Health Savings Accounts along with a transparently-priced market where insurers compete for a customer base offering plans for different needs.