Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) continued criticizing the health care bill crafted by his own party and said Sunday there shouldn’t be a floor vote on the legislation this week, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is seeking.
Johnson, elected in 2010 running against Obamacare, also said on NBC’s “Meet The Press” program that the debate on revising health care has not been based on facts. His concerns about the Senate bill ― written in secret and unveiled Thursday ― included that it could cause a rise in insurance premiums.
“We don’t have the courage in Washington, the honesty, to talk about this issue with real facts,” he said. “There’s no way we should be voting on [the bill] this next week, no way,”
Asked whether he would work to delay a vote, Johnson said, “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 on Thursday joined fellow GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky in saying they couldn’t support the Senate’s health care bill just after McConnell made it public.
He reiterated to Politico in an interview that his opposition at this point is “not a bluff.”
Also on Friday, Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada became the fifth Republican senator to publicly come out against Senate bill. Unless most of these lawmakers do an about-face, McConnell won’t have the votes to pass the legislation in the face of unified Democratic opposition to it.
Also underscoring McConnell’s challenge, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), declared himself “undecided” on the bill. He said the proposal includes provisions “which adversely affect my state that are peculiar to my state.”
The Senate bill would impose drastic cuts to Medicaid, lower taxes for the wealthy and offer less help for middle-class people to purchase private insurance.
Before his first Senate campaign, Johnson was a businessman whose company packaged medical devices. He easily won re-election in 2016.