Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brown Was For It Before He Was Against It

Interesting to note that Scott Brown pledged to be the 41st vote against the health care bill, when he voted for an almost identical bill right here in Massachusetts in 2006:

"Public hostility towards health reform certainly helped propel Brown to victory, but as economist Austin Frakt explains, “[t]he real lesson seems to be less about policy and far more about politics.” After all, Brown doesn’t make a very convincing messenger for opposing the policy behind health reform. As a state senator, Brown voted for Massachusetts 2006’s reform law which, like the Senate and House bills, includes an individual health insurance mandate, insurance exchanges, government affordability credits and insurance regulations. As a result of the law, 98% of Massachusetts residents have health insurance and 79% want the law to continue."

Brown's opposition to the bill was based on voter anger at increasing premiums (the national bill, unlike the MA reform, included cost containments) and that MA would have to subsidize other states' reforms: "The Federal plan, taking a half trillion from Medicare, why would we go and subsidize the failure of other states – not only would we be paying for our plan, we’d be paying for everyone else." But here's the deal: MA received federal money to institute our health care reform; we couldn't have done it without that federal assistance. Which raises the question in some quarters of whether he plans to return the federal money that he seems to so deplore.

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