GOP senator: Tax reform more likely to come before ObamaCare repeal

Republican Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonCongress sends bill renewing anti-terrorism program to Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Hillicon Valley: Republicans demand answers from mobile carriers on data practices | Top carriers to stop selling location data | DOJ probing Huawei | T-Mobile execs stayed at Trump hotel as merger awaited approval MORE (Wis.) is predicting that a tax-cut bill is more likely to come before legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare this year.

"The tax reform is an easier lift,” Johnson told radio host John Catsimatidis in an interview that aired Sunday on AM 970 in New York.

“Healthcare is a problem because ObamaCare is such a mess. I mean, it is collapsing insurance markets,” the Wisconsin senator added.

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“We may have to break this into two pieces. Do kind of a real triage, a short-term measure to stabilize the markets, then take our time and actually have a healthcare bill that will restrain the cost in healthcare."

Several GOP senators have voiced skepticism about plans to repeal and replace ObamaCare after House Republicans passed a bill early last month.

Deep divisions exist among senators over different aspects of the Affordable Care Act, including its Medicaid expansion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Former House Republican: Trump will lose the presidency if he backs away from border security Pence quotes MLK in pitch for Trump's immigration proposal MORE said recently that he wasn't sure how Republicans could get enough support to pass a healthcare bill, suggesting that passing major tax legislation would be easier.

Vice President Pence on Saturday called on senators to pass healthcare reform legislation by the end of the summer, pushing back on Republicans who have questioned the ability to pass a bill this year.