Rep. Mo Brooks: Repeal/Replace Bill ‘Largest Republican Welfare Plan' in History

By Craig Millward | March 13, 2017 | 10:59am EDT
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, told Fox News on Saturday that his constituents “do not want us Republicans to replace Obamacare with yet the largest welfare plan that Republicans have ever proposed.” (Screen grab from Fox News)

( - Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, is among the conservatives criticizing the Republicans' repeal-and-replace bill, saying it is “not a repeal of Obamacare.”

Speaking on Fox News’s “America’s News Headquarters” on Saturday, Brooks said “Well, let’s be clear by way of background, we are being asked to vote for the largest Republican welfare plan in the history of the Republican Party.  That should be a hard swallow and a hard sell. We’ll see how it plays out.

“To get my support, we have to keep our commitments to the American people. We promised that we were going to repeal Obamacare.  The House leadership plan is not a repeal of Obamacare. It keeps substantial parts of Obamacare in place, and it copies or repackages other parts of Obamacare.”

Brooks said repeal looks like the concise bill sponsored by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa): “It’s a nice, two-page bill, two sentences -- the Affordable Care Act is hereby repealed effective such-and-such a date. What we have on the Republican side right now is a bill that is easily over a hundred pages long. That is not a repeal. So let’s keep our promise, repeal it,” Rep. Brooks said.  

“Once we repeal it, then we need to, in my judgement, interject competition into the marketplace -- allow interstate competition amongst health insurance carriers and providers. On the other hand, the health insurance industry has various parts that are exempt from antitrust laws which promote oligopolies and monopolies, which suppresses competition and makes pricing go up. So let’s go ahead and do our best to ensure that we eliminate those antitrust exemptions in the health care industry.”

Brooks said once Obamacare is repealed and the marketplace is allowed to become more competitive, prices will go down and the quality of service will go up. At that point, he said, Medicaid should be turned over to the states in the form of block grants, allowing the 50 states to handle that aspect of health care for the indigent.

Brooks later reiterated that his constituents “do not want us Republicans to replace Obamacare with yet the largest welfare plan that Republicans have ever proposed.”

“Long term, it’s a dead-end proposal. It’s a dead-end proposal because it’s going to spend money we don’t have, we have to borrow to get, we can’t afford to pay back and is ultimately going to contribute to the debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy of this country as we continue to skyrocket with these deficits, blow through the $20 trillion (debt) mark.

“And if you’ve seen the latest reports, we’re not that far over the next 10 years from breaking through the $30 trillion mark,” Rep. Brooks said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed confidence at a news conference last week that the Obamacare replacement bill would get 218 votes to pass the House. However, senators such as Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) insist the bill, as written, will not pass the Senate.

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