Brady decries Dem's healthcare plans

Posted 9/3/19

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady recognizes there are problems in the healthcare system around the county, but proposals by some of the Democrats running for president are not the solution, he says.

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Brady decries Dem's healthcare plans

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U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady recognizes there are problems in the healthcare system around the county, but proposals by some of the Democrats running for president are not the solution, he says.

“Let’s fix what is broken, but do not throw everything out and start from scratch with the one-size-fits-all plan out of Washington D.C.,” The republican said Wednesday, during a public forum at CHI St. Joseph Health in Madisonville. Brady’s visit was part of a tour of hospitals in his 8th Congressional District, up-dating constituents on the issues they are currently trying to tackle in the field of health care.

“One of the ideas I am worried about, and I wanted to get your feedback on, is something called Medicare for All,” Brady said to the group of about 30 attendees. “What I worry about, if it becomes law, is that people will pay more and wait longer for worse care then they have today.

“I do agree that there are problems with our healthcare system, it is too expensive and overcomplicated.”

Medicare for All is supported by nearly half of the U.S. House of Representatives. Brady later elaborated on the importance of the issue in terms of the current race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“I think some of the Democrats understand that this is a dangerous proposal,” said Brady. “But more and more Democrats are only supporting candidates who support Medicare for All. I think you are going to see more of those candidates embrace this.”

Brady did, however, stress the need for a bipartisan approach to healthcare. He is the Minority Leader of the House Committee on Ways and Means and helped pass the Prescription Drug STAR Act, a bipartisan project that requires drug manufacturers to publicly justify large price increases for existing drugs and high launch prices for new drugs.

He also highlighted the Better Act and Heart Act, two bills that focus on problems impacting rural health care, such as reimbursement cuts, telemedicine opportunities and the need for more doctors.

“We are doing some good things together, but we have to do more,” said Brady. “One of the areas that I am also focused on is maternal mortality. For some reasons, it is more dangerous to have a baby in Amer-ica than it was thirty years ago, especially for women of color.

“That doesn't make sense, our health care system is creating miracles by the day. But we are one of the few countries where this has actually gotten worse.”

The Congressman is working with hospitals to find out more about the issue and is hopeful that Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) will pick up the investigation.

Brady addressed some of the concerns of the forum’s attendees following a 40-minute speech at the hos-pital. Members of the audience included Madisonville Mayor William Parten, City Manager Camilla Via-tor and Madison County Judge Tony Leago.

Following the event, the Meteor asked Brady his opinions on separate happenings in Washington D.C., including the 2020 presidential race and the Republican hopefuls not named Donald Trump. Former Gov-ernor of Massachusetts Bill Weld and Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh have each announced plans to oppose Trump in the primary.

“I have served with (Joe Walsh) and supported him in his run for Congress, but I think it will get little to no traction,” said Brady. “The truth is that President Trump, whether you like his tweets or his New York style or not, his plans to make the economy dynamic, nominate judges that bring some common sense to the courts and taking China head on, these are things that need to be done for the country. He is our nomi-nee and we are going to work hard to get him re-elected.”

Brady also recently put forward an updated version of a Social Security bill that he has been working on for quite some time. The goal of the bill is to replace the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) with a new formula to protect those who have worked in jobs not covered by Social Security.

“It is unfair the way Social Security treats our police, teachers and firefighters,” said Brady. “Others in America, if they work and get a pension as well as contribute to Social Security, get both. Right now, (WEP) can dock a local teacher or firefighter over $400 a month in Social Security. We think that’s wrong. What repealing the WEP does is provide them more equal treatment. I think it is only fair.”

Brady stressed the difficulties that come with changing Social Security and the need for bipartisan sup-port.

The Congressman also visited local constituents at Walker’s Cafe on the Square in Madisonville on Tues-day.

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