- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sen. Ron Johnson said Thursday that he’s working with House members on another alternative health care plan.

“I recognize there are two hurdles. In the Senate, we have to get Democrats’ support to get to 60 votes, but another hurdle is the House,” Mr. Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, said on “The Hugh Hewitt Show.” “And I’ve been working with very noteworthy House members, moderates and conservatives, on a very reasonable proposal to fund the CSRs.”

Mr. Johnson was referring to the cost-sharing reduction payments that help subsidize costs to health insurance companies. President Trump said his administration will stop the payments since the constitutionality of their disbursement has been questioned in federal court.

In his initial proposal, Mr. Johnson said he would have gone further than the current health care proposal in the Senate, and would have rolled back the employer mandate and the individual penalty.

The senator said he thinks the House can accomplish more in a faster timeframe than the Senate, which is why he’s working with them first prior to introducing his bill to his own chamber.

“I want to get the House to move first, or at least get Democrats to realize what we’re proposing in the bill I’m working with the House is more than reasonable, actually would restrain insurance prices, bring them back down,” Mr. Johnson explained.

On the latest Senate health care proposal, a bipartisan solution presented by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, Mr. Johnson said he’s unsure the bill will have enough support to vote on.

“I have no idea,” he said. “I have no idea what my colleagues are going to do.”

The Lamar-Murray plan also funds CSR payments and provides states waivers to approve insurance plans comparable to Obamacare. But it would not allow states the ability to opt out of certain requirements for what health insurance plans need to cover in their plans.

Republicans see the plan as a short-term solution to stabilize the insurance marketplace, while Democrats see it as part of a necessary step to fix Obamacare.

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