Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said on Monday that the Affordable Care Act -- popularly known as "Obamacare" -- will degrade health care services through "rationing."
I think it's gonna explode the deficit," Johnson said on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "It's gonna lead to rationing. It will lead to rationing, lower-quality care."
Johnson said the cost estimate for the law was "grossly understated." He argued that employers now had a financial incentive to cut workers' hours enough to force them to use the state health care exchanges it will establish.
"It dramatically increases the demand for health care," Johnson said. "Thirty million Americans getting health care kind of through a Medicaid type of process while it dramatically reduces the supply. That's an economic disaster. We are taking $716 billion dollars out of payments primarily to providers. You're reducing supply, increasing demand. That doesn't lower the cost curve, that increases the cost curve."
Not only do Johnson's remarks run counter to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) findings that repealing Obamacare would add $109 billion to the federal deficit, but they continue a recent trend of ignoring House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) suggestion following Obama's re-election that the GOP would begin to back off of the law.
"Do you aspire to live in a country with universal health care?" panelist Mark Halperin asked Johnson. "Is that a goal of yours?"
"What I aspire to is health care being governed more by [a] free-market competitive system," the senator replied, before using eyeglasses as an example of his ideal health-care system.
"The free market has actually produced businesses that you can walk off the street, get eyeglasses in an hour, two for the price of one," he explained. "And take a look at the quality of laser surgery -- it's gone up, and the price has gone down over the past 10 years. The free market system is a marvel in terms of guaranteeing the lowest-possible price and cost, the highest-possible quality of customer service. But we're moving in the opposite direction."
"Yes or no: Do you aspire for the United States to have universal health care coverage for everyone?" Halperin pressed.
"I want everyone to be able to access health care affordably," Johnson replied. "But you do that through the free market, not through government control. We've moved in the wrong direction that way."
Watch Johnson make his case against Obamacare, as aired on MSNBC on Monday, below.