Brat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has ‘significant’ changes

Victoria Sarno Jordan

A Republican who opposed the first House GOP ObamaCare replacement bill says a revamped effort is the “same fundamental bill” as the one that failed last month.

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), who has signaled he might be able to back the new bill, said it includes “significant changes.”

“It’s not really a new bill — it’s the same fundamental bill, but a few pretty significant amendments to it,” he said during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”

He said the new plan, the text of which has not been written yet, would lower the cost of health insurance and return responsibility to individual states.

Brat is one of a number of conservative House GOP members who broke with leadership and opposed the American Health Care Act. At the time, they argued it would not do enough to lower premiums costs. 

Changes to the new bill would let states apply for waivers for certain ObamaCare regulations, such as a provision preventing insurers from raising an individual’s premium based on that person’s health.

{mosads}”It just allows states to opt out of some of the [regulations] to bring down price. And so those are two of the big pieces. A couple little pieces on the regulatory framework, and then I think we can all get to yes,” said Brat, who came to Congress after defeating former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary.

Critics argue this could make it more difficult for some people to get healthcare, and GOP aides have said the changes may make it difficult for centrists in the GOP conference, who also opposed the first bill, to back this one. 

The White House is pushing for a vote on a new ObamaCare replacement bill as early as next week, though it’s not clear that will happen. House Republicans are set to hold a conference call on Saturday to discuss the issue. 

Trump said on Thursday that he was optimistic that Congress will be able to hold a vote on healthcare next week, as well as prevent a government shutdown.

“We’re doing very well on healthcare,” he said at a news conference. “We will see what happens, but this is a great bill. There’s a great plan, and this will be great healthcare. It is evolving.”

Tags ACA AHCA Eric Cantor
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