MADISON (WKOW) -- Republican U. S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson told a Madison audience his experience with health insurance and his daughter's life-threatening condition motivated his political run and his opposition to national health care reform.
Johnson told a forum staged by the web site wispolitics.com that reform should be scrapped, but said that change may take the defeat of President Obama in 2012's elections.
While Johnson has related the experience of his eldest daughter's medical emergency as an infant before, the Oshkosh businessman spoke of it in some detail for the first time in Madison.
Johnson said Carey Johnson had a serious heart condition requiring immediate surgery right after her birth twenty seven years ago.
Johnson said eight months later, his daughter required reconstruction of the upper chamber of her heart.
Johnson said his family pushed for cutting edge medical care.
"You sometimes have to go outside of where maybe you're first going to find these very advanced centers and that's what we had to do."
Johnson said the insurance plan of his Oshkosh plastics manufacturing plant was not with a health maintenance organization (HMO) and did not carry the restrictions on providers and procedures typical with HMOs.
"I always made sure at Pacur, we'd have the type of fee-for-service that allowed that."
Johnson said the company's plan was market competitive and not a "Cadillac" plan. As company president, Johnson said he has the same health insurance plan as other employees.
Johnson claimed national health care reform stifles the sort of cutting edge care that helped his daughter.
"This health care bill will destroy that level of innovation."
Johnson said his daughter is now a healthy adult and a nurse.
Johnson has indicated he may spend millions of his own wealth to help finance his campaign.
Johnson said he intends to sell off as much as $300,000 of stock in B. P. Oil to help fund the campaign, but only if it is a good financial move.
Democrats have accused Johnson of supporting BP as the company deals with the massive, Gulf coast oil spill to protect his personal investments.
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