Republican Rep. Kevin Brady held a healthcare meeting with constituents Tuesday in his Texas district, billed by his staff as a chance for folks to "share their experiences with rising costs and loss of coverage and choice." That's not what he got.
"Don't lie!" shouted Emily Hoppel, a 39-year-old with her 2-year-old son perched on her hip, when Brady moved from one goal of dismantling ACA to another of defunding Planned Parenthood, which he said used taxpayer money for abortion.
"The Hyde Amendment," she sputtered, incredulously, as Brady continued to talk over her. Hoppel referred to the legislative provision that already prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for abortion.
"Well, we disagree on that," Brady said, his smile tightening but composure intact. […]
"Where are the plans?" came a call from the increasingly feisty gathering, many scowling and unmoved by Brady's assurance that better solutions are on the horizon. He chided the most vocal of the group to be more respectful.
The congressman said he favored the elimination of mandates that he said do not work and put undue burdens both on individuals and small businesses. He promised that the prohibition against denying someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition would remain and that children could still remain on their parents' plans until age 26.
He doesn't agree that the Hyde Amendment is a thing. He's the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee—which handles all the money stuff in the House—and doesn't believe that the amendment attached to every spending bill related to health care since 1976 specifically to prevent federal funds from going to abortion services does that. So that's the baseline that we're dealing with here.
Which explains why Brady can say with a straight face that Republicans can keep the stuff in Obamacare everyone likes and not make the whole thing collapse disastrously with 32 million more uninsured, and doubled premiums for those still insured in the next decade. He might actually believe that. Which means he's unqualified for his job. His constituents are discovering that more and more every day.