GOP senator: I would not call this 'ObamaCare repeal'

GOP senator: I would not call this 'ObamaCare repeal'

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Sen. Cassidy plans to bring down Medicaid Senate committee schedules hearing on health care block grants MORE (R-Wis.) says he wouldn’t call the Senate healthcare reform bill unveiled Thursday "ObamaCare repeal."

“I would not call this ObamaCare repeal. It’s definitely not repealing ObamaCare,” he said.

“I would say it’s trying to address and fix some of the mess, just some of the mess, created by ObamaCare. But that’s my concern. I’m not sure it’s fixing enough,” said Johnson, who will study the bill more closely before deciding on how he will vote.

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GOP leaders pushing colleagues to support their effort have argued that Republicans must fulfill their promise to repeal ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Ky.) in 2013 proclaimed to conservative activists that “ObamaCare should be repealed root and branch.” 

But now that Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress, they’re rallying around legislation that falls well short of that goal, to the consternation of conservatives in both chambers.

McConnell wants to vote on the bill next week, but Johnson has voiced concerns that he will not have enough feedback from constituents, state officials and other stakeholders to vote yes in just a few days.

“Let’s talk about input from our constituencies,” Johnson told reporters. “How does this affect, for example, their reimbursement with Children’s Hospital [of Wisconsin]? How’s this going to affect doctors?”

Johnson said one of his major concerns with the bill is that it will not do enough to lower premiums.

“I don’t think there’s enough, probably, in there to bring down those premiums, which I think is a problem with both the House and maybe the Senate bill now,” he said, expressing doubt that he will have a firm grasp by next week of how the legislation will affect rising premiums.

“I have a hard time believing I’ll have that information prior to when leadership may want to vote on this,” he added.