By Catherine Dominguez
U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, wasted no time in addressing key issues to a packed room at the Montgomery County Republican Women monthly luncheon Thursday.
Topping Brady's list was the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, and what Republican leaders hope to accomplish in stopping what he said is "frightening on its size and impact."
The plan, he said, places 159 new federal agencies and bureaucracies between patients and their doctors.
"On New Year's Day, six new taxes were imposed on those who succeed and work hard in America," he said. "Medicare began $700 billion in cuts. We have more than a million seniors in Texas who choose Medicare because it is the right plan for them. But they intend to, over time, strangle this program because it is based from the free market, it is based from private companies.
"When the president says Obamacare helps our seniors and they can keep the plan they have today, none of that is true."
Along with the new taxes implemented, Brady pointed out the dangers of the medical device tax.
"This is not an income tax, this is a sales tax on a part of our innovation economy that is researching and building the medical breakthroughs for Americans," he said. "We are going to lose, we estimate, 40,000 jobs in America this year as a result of that tax. Some will be in Houston."
Brady noted that when the Affordable Car Act was passed, 60 percent of Americans said they didn't want it. And while Americans were told the plan would save money, Brady said costs are already on the rise.
"Already the increase for the taxpayers in America is a half-billion dollars," he said. "Premiums are going up already instead of being promised they would go down. New studies show that everybody will pay higher health care costs because of (the Affordable Care Act)."
While the information painted a bleak picture and Brady acknowledged the uphill battle, he said Republicans are ready for the fight and plan to provide an alternative to the Affordable Care Act.
"I have been tasked with finding a permanent solution on how we pay our local doctors when they see Medicare patients," he said. "If there is any group in America that needs doctors they know and who know them, it's our dads and moms and our grandparents."
Brady said his goal is to develop legislation that will save and reform Medicare.
"The clock is ticking on Medicare," he said "We are going to continue to fight to repeal, refund and replace Obamacare."