Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., a top Senate Republican, on Wednesday accused the Obama administration of “derelict of duty” after it announced it would not begin work on the health law this year and did not provide any details of what that means for the nation’s future.
The White House’s announcement came on the same day President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, told reporters that the administration would be working on health care for at least a year to come.
But Johnson said Wednesday that Trump should “stop whining” and “stop putting up with the incompetence” that has plagued the administration since Trump took office.
Johnson added that the White House was “sick of being lectured” by Democrats about the administration’s lack of progress on the law.
“Instead of getting it wrong, we should be doing it right,” Johnson said on the Senate floor.
Johnson also said the administration should have done more to prepare for the rollout of the health care law.
Republicans in Congress have repeatedly pressed the administration to do more to make sure people who receive insurance through the exchanges get coverage, such as creating a website to provide information on eligibility and getting health insurers to sell policies.
They also want to see more information on the impact of the law on insurers and the federal government.
Johnson said the White Street Journal had been the only media outlet that had reported on the announcement.
“The media is a total mess,” he said.
“It’s not the administration doing it, it’s the media.
And they’re not doing it for the country, they’re doing it because of their political masters.”
Johnson said he had spoken to top administration officials about the delay in implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which Trump signed into law in March.
The administration’s announcement did not say when it would be implementing the law, but Trump has promised to sign it as soon as it’s done.
Trump is also expected to sign legislation to overhaul the federal retirement system, a measure that could cause major disruption in the insurance markets, according to several analysts.
The bill also would make it easier for businesses to pay workers who are laid off to take the job, but it’s unclear how many businesses would benefit.
Johnson accused Trump of making “a big deal out of nothing.”
“The fact is, the president is making a big deal about nothing.
That’s why I’m saying to you, ‘Shut up, Mr. President,'” Johnson said.
Trump has also been frustrated by the lack of information about the rollout.
Johnson told reporters on Wednesday that he had received multiple calls from constituents telling him about how the rollout had gone.
“They’re asking about the cost of the plan, they are asking about how to enroll,” he added.
“And then the first question they ask is, ‘Why are we not going to be able to get a plan?’
And the second question they say is, why do we not know where to go to get coverage?'”
Johnson said that he believes the administration has been hiding information on how many people would be covered under the law and how much they would pay.
“I believe the Whitehouse is hiding that information from us, the American people,” Johnson added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.