Contact: Melanie Conklin, 608-260-2409
MADISON — This morning on MSNBC, Senator Ron Johnson turned an interview into an alarming spectacle by revealing under direct questioning how little he knows about the devastating impact his Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill could have on the people in the state of Wisconsin and nationwide.
After failing miserably to silence the anchors by talking over them with a rant against the Affordable Care Act, Johnson showed that he has no answers on the most basic and vital questions on this bill that he wants to ram through at top speed with little information on its impact.
When broadcast journalist Willie Geist asked him, “People will lose coverage under your plan, Senator?” Johnson remarked, “I can’t guarantee that.”
Johnson went on to attack the Affordable Care Act with an incomprehensible claim that pre-existing conditions are not covered for those who have a job and those people would have to quit their job to get such coverage.
Again he was asked by Geist, “Senator, I want to be very clear in an answer you gave a minute ago because I think this is at the core of what we’re talking about here, will people who currently have coverage, medical coverage, lose it under your plan in the United States?”
Johnson, again, gave an incorrect answer: “Listen, millions of people lost coverage under Obamacare. There are no guarantees other than the fact that premiums have already doubled and continued to skyrocket.”
That is false, but the journalists were not surrendering to his failed attempts to distract.
MSNBC Morning Joe senior contributor Mike Barnicle stepped in with a heart-wrenching question in a last ditch attempt to get a straight answer out of Johnson: “Somewhere in Wisconsin there is a child with cystic fibrosis currently covered under what you call the disaster of Obamacare. Can you tell that family that their premiums under your proposed bill — that you’re about to vote on — their premiums will not go up?”
And what did Johnson say? “They certainly shouldn’t go, they should be going down.”
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning reacted to Sen. Johnson’s terrifying interview, responding:
“Senator Johnson either has absolutely no idea of how his legislation will harm families across Wisconsin or – perhaps most alarmingly — he cares more about Republican elections than the people this stands to truly and deeply harm.
“Either way, the fourth iteration of Trumpcare does exactly what the previous versions did: It institutes an age tax for older Americans, jeopardizes protections for people with pre-existing conditions, eliminates the ban on lifetime caps and yanks health care away from millions. Senator Johnson may not know what’s in his own legislation, but one thing from today’s terrible media exchange is clear – it would be malpractice to let this dangerous bill pass.”