Johnson argued that the legislation, drafted behind closed doors largely by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, “doesn’t appear to come close” to fixing problems he says were caused by the regulations and reforms instituted by the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare legislation.
Johnson, who ran in 2010 on his opposition to Obamacare, did not go into much detail about how he would like the GOP bill to change, arguing that the solution to rising healthcare costs and millions of uninsured Americans is “simple.”
“A simple solution is obvious,” he wrote. “Loosen up regulations and mandates, so that Americans can choose to purchase insurance that suits their needs and that they can afford.”
Johnson said that the current version of the repeal bill continues throw money at the problem, rather than rely on “consumer-driven, free-market competition” to lower costs and increase choice.
“The bill’s defenders will say it repeals Obamacare’s taxes and reduces Medicaid spending growth. That’s true,” Johnson wrote of the GOP’s proposal. “But it also boosts spending on subsidies, and it leaves in place the pre-existing-condition rules that drive up the cost of insurance for everyone.”
On NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, the senator said there’s “no way” the Senate should hold a vote on the bill, the details of which were released last Thursday, this week.
“I have a hard time believing Wisconsin constituents or even myself will have enough time to properly evaluate this for me to vote for motion to proceed,” Johnson said.
Johnson is joined by nine other Republican senators who have voiced opposition to or concern about the current proposal. Ted Cruz (Tex.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Rand Paul (Ky.) have all announced they will not vote for the bill. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), and Rob Portman (Ohio) have all voiced concerns.
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