RICHMOND, Va. — Rep. Dave Brat is optimistic about the latest attempt at health care reform negotiations between the White House and Congress, saying there have been a “few pretty significant amendments” to earlier proposals that have opened the door to a deal.
Speaking on CNN’s “New Day” Friday, Brat, a Virginia Republican and member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, also casually dismissed concerns over the Republican divisions that spoiled the GOP’s last attempt at repealing and replacing Obamacare.
“(President Donald Trump) said yes. (The Freedom Caucus) said yes to him. Somehow, something in the swamp said no,” Brat said, alluding to the “drain the swamp” refrain of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
He credited Vice President Mike Pence with coming up with a “great compromise” that has advanced progress on Republicans’ plan.
“It’s not really a new bill — same fundamental bill,” Brat told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “But a few pretty significant amendments do two things.”
Brat said he expects the new plan will “lower the price of health care” using “free markets as much as we can.” He added that “this is still a federal government structure, not totally happy with that outcome, but said “it at least cracks the door open to states having some ability to opt out of some of the insurance regulations.”
“Secondly,” Brat said, the still-emerging proposal “lets health care return to the states.”
The Virginia Republican said that the Freedom Caucus is “still waiting on the official text” of the deal, but claimed that “we have language” to address both lowering premiums and coverage for pre-existing conditions. “It allows the states to opt out of the (regulations) to bring down the price.”
“Those are two of the big pieces, a couple little pieces on the regulatory framework, and then we can all get to yes. That is the goal,” Brat said.