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U.S. Senator Johnson: White House grossly underestimating Obamacare costs

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WASHINGTON (WTAQ) - U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says the Obama White House is grossly underestimating the costs of its health care reform package.

Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, told reporters in a conference call that it’s “pretty obvious” the health reforms would not reduce the federal deficits, certainly not in the first decade.

In fact, he said it’s going to, “blow a hole in an already broken budget.”

Johnson ran against the health care law when he won the Senate seat in the 2010 elections. He said the administration is vastly understating the number of people expected to lose the health coverage they now get from employers. And Johnson said companies would have a strong incentive to stop offering coverage to their workers altogether – thus jacking up the government’s costs.

At a Senate subcommittee hearing last week, Johnson quizzed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the package. He said the costs were so uncertain that, “Don’t you think we ought to put the brakes on?”

Sebelius said the big increases in health costs show the need for a new insurance market. She said private insurance is on a “death spiral” – and the secretary said it’s not an option to do nothing. 

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