Ron Johnson: ‘ObamaCare’ Would Have Killed My Congenitally Ill Daughter


In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the one-year anniversary of the health care law, freshman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) recalls the story of his now-adult daughter, who was born with a heart defect, and nearly died — and suggests she might not have survived if the new health care law had been in place back then.

“I don’t even want to think what might have happened if she had been born at a time and place where government defined the limits for most insurance policies and set precedents [sic] on what would be covered,” Johnson writes. “Would the life-saving procedures that saved her have been deemed cost-effective by policy makers deciding where to spend increasingly scarce tax dollars?”

It’s a new, retroactive twist on the ‘death panels’ hoax, which has been broadly debunked, but never seems to go away.

It should be noted that one of the current benefits of the health care law prevents insurance companies from discriminating against children with pre-existing medical conditions.


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at