Baldwin urges Republicans to fix ACA, after delaying vote on the - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Baldwin urges Republicans to fix ACA, after delaying vote on their own health care bill

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin's senior U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is one of at least six Republicans being credited with forcing their leadership to delay a vote on health care reform Tuesday, as the state's junior U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says its time for those Republicans to come to the bargaining table with her and other Democrats.

Sen. Baldwin believes everyday Americans deserve the credit for sending Republican leaders back to the drawing board on health care.    

"People are speaking out, in large part, because health care is so deeply personal and Republican senators are hearing their stories," said Sen. Baldwin.

One of those GOP senators clearly troubled by the cuts to the Medicaid insurance program for the poor - and other portions of the bill - is Susan Collins of Maine.

"It's difficult for me to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns about the impact of the bill," Sen. Collins told reporters in Washington, D.C. Tuesday.

Sen. Collins is so disillusioned with the efforts of her leadership's bill, she tweeted Monday night: "I want to work w/ my GOP & Dem colleagues to fix the flaws in ACA. CBO analysis shows Senate bill won't do it."

Collins is the first Republican member of Congress to publicly broach the idea of working to fix the Affordable Care Act - aka Obamacare - rather than scrap it altogether and start over.

"That's what we have been working towards all the way along," said Sen. Baldwin. "The Affordable Care Act expanded access to health care in this country dramatically."

The fight will now be between moderate Republicans like Collins - who want to keep some of the Obamacare protections - and conservatives like Sen. Johnson, who want to eliminate them and trim spending for Medicaid.

"A moral and compassionate society does not impoverish future generations for promising benefits in the here and now," said Sen. Johnson in a Monday interview.

Sen. Baldwin said none of her constituents want to see the poor and middle-class have a more difficult time getting health insurance.

"I can tell you, the people of Wisconsin didn't elect me to the United States Senate to take away people's health care," said Sen. Baldwin.

But outside of introducing a bipartisan bill designed to bring down prices on some prescription drugs, Sen. Baldwin did not give concrete examples of exactly how Congress could fix the ACA.

Senator Johnson is still looking to get rid of Obamacare and make the Senate GOP bill better.

"I'm pleased Senate leadership has agreed to give us more time to analyze the health care bill," said Sen. Johnson in a Tuesday afternoon statement. "A vote this week would have been rushed, and I look forward to taking time in the coming days to improve this bill."

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