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Sen. Johnson to vote for starting debate on health care bill

MADISON, Wis. - Republican Sen. Ron Johnson plans to vote to start debate on the Senate health care overhaul bill but it doesn't sound as if he likes the bill itself.

Johnson had been among a group of GOP senators who said they couldn't vote for the bill. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a revised version Thursday aimed at winning support by letting insurers sell low-cost, skimpy policies and adding billions to combat opioids and help consumers with insurance costs.

"I'm concerned about leader McConnell's comments to apparently some of my Republican colleagues that don't worry about the Medicaid reforms. Those are scheduled so far in the future that they'll never take effect," Johnson said. "I think those comments are going to really put the motion preceding into real jeopardy whether it's my part or others."

Johnson said during a radio interview on WHBY Friday that he will support a motion to start debate on the new bill next week but he's disappointed that it doesn't do enough to address rising premium costs.

He said some good things about the bill include that it starts stabilizing the markets collapsing under Obamacare and devolves the management of Medicaid back down to the states.

Johnson spokesman Ben Voekel declined to comment on Johnson's position beyond what the senator told the radio station.


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