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Brat: How (and why) the Freedom Caucus plans to force a vote on full Obamacare repeal

Brat and Trammell debate. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

In an exclusive interview with Red Alert Politics, Congressman and Freedom Caucus member Dave Brat (R-VA) said that the only way for both parties to move forward on health care is through a complete repeal of ObamaCare.

The Freedom Caucus have been vocal advocates for a full repeal of ObamaCare. After the Senate was unable to come to a consensus this week, Rep. Tom Garrett (R-VA) said a repeal was the only way forward. On Wednesday, Freedom Caucus members announced their intent to file a petition for a full repeal of ObamaCare with a two-year phase out plan. The petition would need to get 218 signatures from Congress. Brat told Red Alert Politics that it is the only way forward.

“It doesn’t look like the Senate is anywhere close to making an agreement on a one size fits all federal program. It’s the moderates vs. the free market people. I don’t know if they can resolve that,” Brat said.

When asked if the GOP was losing momentum on health care after its latest failure Brat responded, “I don’t think it breaks any momentum because the hard thing to do in D.C. is to repeal anything so let’s get the repeal done and then the replacing.”

The proposed repeal would give lawmakers two years to phase out ObamaCare and establish a new system, which Brat said would be the easy part.

“There’s no problem loading up the Christmas tree and adding all the healthcare pieces that the Democrats and Republicans want. D.C. is very good at that. The swamp can add spending items by the second. The hard part is to clear the brush and clear the bureaucracy that has ruined health care since World War II,” he said.

The CBO had said that a full repeal would leave 32 million people uninsured. However, the Virginia congressman said that by having a two-year phase out, people would not lose their coverage. Under a new health care plan, Brat would like to expand health savings accounts, which he says will increase affordability for millennials. Health savings accounts allow consumers to save pre-taxed money from their paycheck into an account in order to pay for their medical needs.

“If we get health saving accounts and give students the ability to save for health care and their retirement tax-free, the students are going to end up with a ton of money as compound interest kicks in and they’re going to be way better off than living under this federal government regime,” Brat explained.

It can be argued that throughout the process of drafting alternatives to ObamaCare, the GOP has made little effort to sell their proposed reforms to young people. When asked why, Brat said it was because they weren’t professors for 20-year-olds for 20 years like he was.

“I want to make sure the next generation and millennials don’t get ripped off and so maybe I should emphasize that with my colleagues more. Look, we have a whole generation that’s on our side because they’ve been thrown under the bus by the status quo.”

Listen to the full conversation below:


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