- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says the Republican health care proposal back by President Donald Trump doesn’t do enough to curtail eligibility for Medicaid or to reduce health care premiums.

Johnson is among Republicans lukewarm about the overhaul of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. The House Budget Committee voted Thursday to advance the health care bill, despite votes against the measure by three conservative GOP lawmakers.

In an interview on WNYC with radio host Charlie Sykes, the second-term Republican senator said Wednesday that the GOP legislation should not be rushed through Congress. Johnson says there may have been an unrealistic expectation about how quickly the current health care law could be changed.

“I’m not an alarmist here, like, if we don’t do this in two weeks, we lose our chance,” Johnson said. “I’d rather take the time and get this right.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan and some Republicans have a tight timeline for the overhaul measure, aiming for a vote before the end of the month.

Republican opposition to the reforms grew after the Congressional Budget Office projected Monday that the legislation would push 24 million Americans off coverage in a decade and shift out-of-pocket costs toward lower income, older people.

Johnson said he’s in favor of capping Medicaid funding to states on a per-enrollee basis, a big change from the current program that calls for federal matching funds for each Medicaid dollar that states spend. But, the plan doesn’t do enough to limit eligibility for Medicaid or to cut health care premiums in the individual market, Johnson said.

“I don’t see enough reforms that will actually bring down the premiums,” he said.

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