Johnson: Senate Bill Doesn’t ‘Come Close’ To Fixing Issues With Obamacare

Cliff Owen/FR170079 AP

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), one of four conservative senators who issued a statement last week opposing the Senate Obamacare repeal bill as written, wrote in a Monday New York Times op-ed that the bill does not adequately fix the issues he sees with the Affordable Care Act.

“Our priority should be to bring relief, and better, less expensive care, to millions of working men and women,” Johnson wrote in the New York Times. “Unfortunately, the Senate Republican alternative, unveiled last week, doesn’t appear to come close to addressing their plight. Like Obamacare, it relies too heavily on government spending, and ignores the role that the private sector can and should play.”

Johnson called for “consumer-driven, free-market competition” in the health care market, which he argued would “restrain (if not lower) costs while improving quality, access and innovation.”

“Loosen up regulations and mandates, so that Americans can choose to purchase insurance that suits their needs and that they can afford,” Johnson wrote.

“Like many other senators, I had hoped that this was where things were headed during the last several weeks as the Republican bill was discussed,” he continued. “We’re disappointed that the discussion draft turns its back on this simple solution, and goes with something far too familiar: throwing money at the problem.”

Johnson ended his op-ed by noting that Republican leaders in the Senate have emphasized that the bill released last week is a discussion draft open to negotiation.

“I look forward to working with Senate leadership and the president to improve the bill so it addresses the plight of the forgotten men and women by returning freedom and choice to health care,” the senator wrote.

Johnson has previously criticized leadership for rushing the bill through the chamber, arguing that senators need more time to assess the legislation.