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Scott Brown on Health Care

Republican Jr Senator


Supported RomneyCare in 2006; it's different than ObamaCare

[At a N.H. GOP gathering] Brown tried to focus on Sen. Shaheen and linked her to what he said were fundamental problems with President Obama's health care plan. "What's really at issue is that she really needs to start explaining to people why she was the deciding vote to pass ObamaCare," he said.

"Up until it blew up, she was still one of the No. 1 supporters," he said.

"She makes no apologies for trying to help people get affordable health insurance," Shaheen's husband said. Mr. Shaheen also noted that Mr. Brown might face questions about health care himself. As a state senator in 2006, he supported Gov. Mitt Romney's health care overhaul in Massachusetts, which was the model for the Obama plan. Mr. Brown later argued that the two plans were very different, but enough similarities exist that New Hampshire's conservative voters could question whether he shares their values.

Source: New York Times on 2014 New Hampshire Senate race , Dec 11, 2013

Massachusetts system good; ObamaCare no good

Q: Would Sen. Brown like to see the MA health system implemented in other states (not federally)? Does the federal government have a role in expanding coverage and reducing costs for American health care consumers?

A: On healthcare, Sen. Brown supports some form of both Medicaid and Medicare and would be fine with other states adopting MA health reforms if they decide it's right for them.

Source: AmericansElect email questionnaire with Scott Brown's staff , Nov 22, 2011

Massachusetts system good; ObamaCare no good

On the AmericansElect.org healthcare question, Sen. Brown chose 'C' from the list below:Staff comment: Senator Brown is strongly opposed to President Obama's one-size-fits-all national healthcare approach, but is dedicated to expanding coverage and reducing costs for American health care consumers. He believes that private companies should provide health care insurance and supported MA healthcare reforms.
Source: AmericansElect email questionnaire with Scott Brown's staff , Nov 22, 2011

MA voters took up Brown's offer as 41st vote against Obama

Voters in Massachusetts had dealt what many believed at the time was the death blow to Democratic health-care reform when they elected Sen. Scott Brown in January to fill the seat of the Senate's premier advocate of a government-driven health-care program, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts had made passing Democratic health-care reform through the democratic process impossible. In the campaign, Brown had promised the voters of Massachusetts he would be the 41st vote in the Senate against Obamacare and they took him up on his offer. Without the sixty votes necessary for a filibuster-proof majority to pass their version of health-care reform, the majority party became desperate.

The only way left was the new Washington Way. If supporters of government health care couldn't summon the votes necessary to pass health-care reform through the democratic process, they would just bypass the democratic process.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p. 97-98 , Sep 14, 2010

41st vote against Obama's healthcare plan

Vows to be the 41st vote against health-care legislation, effectively killing the effort. He says Congress should start over, believing because that the current plan costs too much and will lead to means higher taxes. "You're talking about a trillion-dollar health-care plan and a half-trillion in Medicare cuts," he said in Monday night's debate.
Source: Nancy Reardon, Quincy Patriot-Ledger: 2010 MA Senate debate , Jan 14, 2010

MA already has health bill; don't impose new federal bill

Q: On health care reform: the Senate bill has got a public option. Would you vote for it?

A: I'm shocked at the four people that are running on the other side and the twelve people that are representing us [as the Massachusetts delegation in Congress] are pushing this so hard--in Massachusetts we have a law already that's working. It's not perfect, but the same bill at the federal level is going to be in direct competition in Massachusetts and it's not going to be good for Massachusetts businesses. Massachusetts citizens are taxpayers: it's going to cost upwards of three trillion dollars. Why don't we take a little bit of federal money and fix the approach to the problems that we may have here: mandates and a lot of the managed care issues we've go --let the other states do it [as Massachusetts did]. I think it's inappropriate for the federal government to come down and put their will on our people. I'm not saying that I think everybody should have some form of coverage. But we already have it.

Source: NECN Good Morning Live interviews on 2009 MA Senate race , Nov 30, 2009

Public option is really a government option

Q: Where are you in the public option in national health care reform?

A: It's really a government option and for us in Massachusetts, we have almost 94% of our people insured here in Massachusetts. And we have a fantastic health care system, teaching hospitals, insurance companies that provide great benefits for our state. Why would we want to--I feel--dumb down the medical services and medical insurance in Massachusetts to provide for that type of plan? So I'm not in favor of it.

Source: WBUR interview on 2009 MA Senate primary debate , Sep 14, 2009

Voted NO on Constitutional call for universal health care

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting YES in Part III: Health Care:Health Care. [State Senator Brown, a Republican, voted NO].

Vote on a Constitutional Amendment: It shall be the obligation and duty of the Legislature and executive officials to enact such laws... as will ensure that no Massachusetts resident lacks comprehensive, affordable and equitably financed health insurance coverage for all medically necessary preventive, acute and chronic health care and mental health care services, prescription drugs and devices.

Relevant platform section: Health Care: Our Party supports the creation of a single-payer health care system both in Massachusetts and in the nation in order to achieve the goal of universal health care. We understand that other methods are less satisfactory to us, but we remain committed to ensuring that every man, woman, and child in our state should have access to high quality health care.

Source citation: Constitutional Amendment ; vote number 721

Source: Massachusetts House Journals via MassScorecard.org , Jul 14, 2004

Voted YES on tax credits for all smoking regulation costs

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting NO in Part III: Health Care:Tobacco. [State Senator Brown, a Republican, voted YES].

Corporations shall be allowed a tax credit equal to 100 per cent of the costs incurred, for the purchase and installation of ventilation systems and any other materials used in the construction of a designated smoking area designed to reduce the presence of smoke in non-smoking areas, pursuant to any board of health regulation, city ordinance, town bylaw, or any other municipal variance or exemption. [The effect of this legislation would be to make legislating restrictions on smoking fmore difficult].

Relevant platform section: Part III: Health Care: Tobacco: "We support legislation to regulate smoking in the workplace and all public settings."

Source citation: Bill H.4249 ; vote number 430

Source: Massachusetts House Journals via MassScorecard.org , Oct 22, 2003

Supported $10M cut in the uncompensated care pool

Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform indicates voting YES in X2:Access and Costs. [State Senator Brown, a Republican, voted NO].

Override Gov. Romney's veto of a Budget Line Item which eliminated $9,670,807 in funding for the uncompensated care pool. This care pool provides health care for people who would otherwise not be covered for hospital visits.

Relevant platform section: PART III: HEALTH CARE, ACCESS & CHOICE: Access and Costs: "We remain committed to extending proper coverage to each of the hundreds of thousands of residents still uninsured, and to aiding the even greater number who are underinsured, or at risk of being so."

Source citation: Veto Override ; vote number 170

Source: Massachusetts House Journals via MassScorecard.org , Jul 8, 2003

Ensure access to basic health care, including state funding

Source: 2002 MA Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 2002

Voted NO on the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts.

Proponent's Arguments for voting Yes:

[Sen. DeMint, R-SC]: The Democrats have Medicare on a course of bankruptcy. Republicans are trying to save Medicare & make sure there are options for seniors in the future. Medicare will not be there 5 or 10 years from now. Doctors will not see Medicare patients at the rate [Congress will] pay.

[Sen. Ayotte, R-NH]: We have 3 choices when it comes to addressing rising health care costs in Medicare. We can do nothing & watch the program go bankrupt in 2024. We can go forward with the President's proposal to ration care through an unelected board of 15 bureaucrats. Or we can show real leadership & strengthen the program to make it solvent for current beneficiaries, and allow future beneficiaries to make choices.

Opponent's Arguments for voting No:

[Sen. Conrad, D-ND]: In the House Republican budget plan, the first thing they do is cut $4 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years. For the wealthiest among us, they give them an additional $1 trillion in tax reductions. To offset these massive new tax cuts, they have decided to shred the social safety net. They have decided to shred Medicare. They have decided to shred program after program so they can give more tax cuts to those who are the wealthiest among us.

[Sen. Merkley, D-TK]: The Republicans chose to end Medicare as we know it. The Republican plan reopens the doughnut hole. That is the hole into which seniors fall when, after they have some assistance with the first drugs they need, they get no assistance until they reach a catastrophic level. It is in that hole that seniors have had their finances devastated. We fixed it. Republicans want to unfix it and throw seniors back into the abyss. Then, instead of guaranteeing Medicare coverage for a fixed set of benefits for every senior--as Medicare does now--the Republican plan gives seniors a coupon and says: Good luck. Go buy your insurance. If the insurance goes up, too bad.
Status: Failed 40-57

Reference: Ryan Budget Plan; Bill HCR34&SCR21 ; vote number 11-SV077 on May 25, 2011

Other candidates on Health Care: Scott Brown on other issues:
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Bill Weld
Charlie Baker
Dan Wolf
Deval Patrick
Don Berwick
Martha Coakley
Marty Walsh
Steve Grossman
Tom Menino
MA Senatorial:
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Bruce Skarin
Ed Markey
Elizabeth Warren
Gabriel Gomez
John Kerry
Martha Coakley
Mo Cowan

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Page last updated: Apr 15, 2014