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Ron Johnson Calls For Partial Slowdown On Obamacare Overhaul

Senator Also Says Trump Administration Being Sabotaged

Ron Johnson
Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says he’s trying to slow down part of the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The Wisconsin lawmaker spoke Sunday at a forum outside Milwaukee. He said as the Senate takes up the House-passed overhaul of the Obama health care plan, he wants quick action to stabilize health insurance markets and hold down premiums. But Johnson said other parts of the new legislation should wait, partly to make sure people retain coverage.

“So then what we can do is take a more thoughtful approach to make sure we’re not pulling the rug out from anybody,” he said, adding that the rising cost of health care also needs to be addressed.

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The conservative group Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty organized the forum, but it was open to the public so Johnson heard several complaints about his positions, including pointed calls not to allow potential reductions in Medicaid to weaken coverage for children with autism.

Afterwards, Johnson briefly spoke with the news media, and said there seems to be an effort to “sabotage the Trump administration.” He said the House and Senate need to get to the bottom of whether Russia interfered in last fall’s presidential election.

But Johnson said the U.S. Department of Justice decision to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russia investigation will slow Congress’ own review because parts of Mueller’s probe will be done behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, Johnson said he’s concerned about leaks from both inside and outside the White House.

“There seems to be a concerted effort literally to sabotage this administration from the get-go. That’s not good. We need to start unifying this country,” Johnson said.

About 25 people held a sidewalk protest outside the venue. Thomas Gilding, of Burlington, said Johnson was often critical of President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“You hate to the throw the word ‘hypocrite’ around,” Gilding said, “But if you look at things (Republicans) said before the election and the things they’re saying now, they’re polar opposites.”