In the short-term, he will need to tackle FY 2024 appropriations before the Nov. 17 deadline.
He will also need to find a way forward on the numerous “extenders” that expired at the end of September and have been languishing, including the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), funding for community health centers, anti-opioid programs, and the PEPFAR program to combat AIDS and HIV.
Johnson has only served four terms in Congress, but he has a history of backing anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ legislation.
He’s sponsored at least three bills that would restrict abortion on a national level, including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children From Late-Term Abortions Act, and the Heartbeat Protection Act of 2021. He also voted against legislation to codify same-sex marriage into law.
As chairman of the Republican Study Commission, he drafted the group’s health care plan in 2019 and its fiscal year 2020 budget.
The 2019 health plan revisited many of the concepts Republicans previously proposed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It called for capping federal Medicaid funds, as well as expanded health savings accounts. It also would have created high-risk pools instead of guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
The 2020 budget called for raising the Medicare eligibility age and turning Medicare into a premium support program where private plans compete alongside traditional Medicare. Instead of a guaranteed benefit, beneficiaries would use a voucher to buy coverage on either a private or Medicare plan.
Even though there’s been less attention in recent years on replacing ObamaCare, the ideas in the 2020 budget and 2019 health plan are popular among conservatives. If Republicans control Congress and the White House after the 2024 election, those policies could be a window into their health priorities.