Scott Brown voted for universal health care

Republicans are awfully good at telling a story to voters, even if it has nothing to do with reality. Brown’s campaign against Obama’s planned health care reform plan helped him win a Massachusets Senate seat that had been held by a Democrat for decades.

But a GOP governor, Mitt Romney, pushed through a universal health care bill in Massachusetts, and Brown voted for it. Now, both men are vehemently opposed to the universal health care plan Democrats are trying to pass through Congress, even though the Senate bill is very similar to the Massachusetts plan.

Mr. Brown, as a state senator, voted in favor of the Massachusetts universal health care law in 2006, when the state became the first in the nation to pass a far-reaching overhaul guaranteeing coverage for nearly every state resident and requiring everyone in Massachusetts to obtain insurance.

Mr. Brown, in campaigning against the health care legislation emerging in Washington, has sought to portray it as fundamentally different from the Massachusetts plan. But Massachusetts was actually an important model for what Congress has developed, arguably the model for what Congress envisions.

The federal law, like the one in Massachusetts, is built around a system of government-subsidized, private insurance coverage with subsidies on a sliding-scale based on income. The federal law, however, also includes a number national steps aimed at controlling health care costs, and new taxes and fees aimed at paying for the legislation. Massachusetts has continued to struggle with its costs.

The health care program in Massachusetts is quite popular among its voters, by the way. According to a September poll, 59 percent of Mass. voters are satisfied with their universal health care program.

84 comments Add your comment

Wendell

January 20th, 2010
11:38 am

Hey Cynthia – don’t be a sore loser.

I’ve yet to come across a column in which you detail the false campaign promises upon which Obama was elected, i.e. trasnparency in gov’t (CSPAN), keeping the pork and special interests out of legislation – something that he mentioned specifically and repeatedly (Cournhusker Kickback, Louisianna Purchase, Union favors).

Please stop acting like a childish, bitter, hypocrite.

GO SCOTT GO!

Drifter

January 20th, 2010
11:40 am

Maybe they’ve learned something. The program in Massachusetts is virtually bankrupt. They’ve cut funding to hospitals and they’re being sued because the state is only returning 64 cents for every dollar spend by the hospitals on indigent care. It’s unsustainable.

Wes

January 20th, 2010
11:41 am

Cynthia,

Is it at all possible that what’s a good decision for 6.5 million people (the population of Mass) isn’t necessarily a good idea for 300 million (the population of the USA)? I know that I’d love to have mass transit for the Atlanta area but I don’t think that it’s an issue for the state. Throw in the limited influence that is available on Congressmen, and I’d tend to think we’d all be better off without one size fits all solutions from the federal government.

Bryan G.

January 20th, 2010
11:43 am

Gee, I don’t know…could it be that he sees what a disaster it is there with costs?

ctucker

January 20th, 2010
11:47 am

Wendell,
I’m perfectly willing to give Scott Brown credit for running a great race; he was a much better campaigner than Martha Coakley. His answer in the debate about the seat belong to the people of Massachusetts was a great one. But he’s still a hypocrite on health care reform.

Csquared

January 20th, 2010
11:51 am

sounds like he’d be really good at ‘three card monte’

Sanjay

January 20th, 2010
11:52 am

Cynthia specifically noted that Mass is struggling with costs and that the congressional plan takes steps to address that–please read the post before commenting.

cv

January 20th, 2010
11:53 am

He is not a hypocrite, he says that reform needs to be done the right way. Who in their right mind would be against making healthcare better?

ctucker

January 20th, 2010
11:59 am

So, cv, Massachusetts adopts a health care reform, and Dems in Congress take it as their model. Brown voted for the Mass plan. So how is that not the right way?

MA Voter

January 20th, 2010
12:01 pm

There was no hypocrisy. It was no secret in MA that Brown voted for MA universal health care. He never denied it. What he stated was theat the plan being forced on MA from Washington was inferior to the plan we have in place, and he also mentioned there were flaws and funding problems with our own plan since it was put in place in 2005.

Please note that we’re the only state with this legislation, and we’re sending to Washington the only candidate who ran for the Senate seat that had experience in this area.

It wasn’t until this local story went national did it suddenly become defined as a referendum on health care reform. My sense is he is open to negotiations on improving the reform package in place in Washington.

ctucker

January 20th, 2010
12:01 pm

By the way, Wes, I know the “one-size-fits-all” is part of the GOP talking points, but what does that mean? The vast majority of insurance plans will still be provided by private insurers. How is that one-size-fits-all? If you don’t have children, you have a plan that doesn’t cover kids. If you want a very basic plan, you can buy one of those. As someone whose insurance plan is tied to my job, my options are much more limited than they would be if I purchased insurance in one of the proposed exchanges.

Nate

January 20th, 2010
12:01 pm

There is a difference between local and national politics. Massachusetts allready has Universal Healthcare and it makes no sense for them to subsidize the expansion to other states when they’ve allready made the investment. Martha Coakley was running on a National healthcare platform despite the fact that the bill is bad Locally for Massachusetts. Coakley represents nothing but the extreme left of the National Democrat machine and has no interest in what is best for her constituents. Brown represented his State and his people when he voted for Mass Healthcare and again when he voted against National Healthcare.

ctucker

January 20th, 2010
12:09 pm

MA voter,
Great to hear from you.
Three points: 1)The Democratic health care plan has proposals to hold down costs that the Mass. plan doesn’t have.
2) I am not aware that the proposal for national health care would in any way interfere with the plan in Mass. If the plan is better in Mass., as far as I know, the state gets to keep their plan. But I’ll check on that.
3) If Scott Brown is open to negotiations to improve the national legislation, that’s great news! But I’m doubtful. There will be tremendous pressure on him not to negotiate with Dems. As Charles Grassley of Iowa eventually admitted, he would be excoriated by his party if he voted for health care reform, no matter what kind of legislation it was.

Davo

January 20th, 2010
12:12 pm

Obama on the ropes,
Obama on the ropes,
Dems lookin’ like a fool
wit Obama on the ropes.

lol…say goodbye to your utopian fantasies CT. The people have spoken.

Ridgerunner

January 20th, 2010
12:12 pm

Boy, Ms. Tucker must be angry today. These are the most replies I have seen from her ever !

The BACKLASH has just started. Wait til this November.

Most Independents and a lot of Democrats are just plain ashamed they ever voted for Obama. Between now and the next presidential election in November 2012, they will take it out on any liberal they can find.

What'sup!

January 20th, 2010
12:16 pm

The poll you mention, Cynthia, was taken in “September” . . as we learned from the Massachusetts campaign . . . opinions can change overnight. Even if Brown did vote for the Massachusetts health plan . . maybe he has learned from that. . . doesn’t mean he supports the Obama plan and to the life of me I cannot believe that the Massachusetts plan is the same as that being currently proprosed by Congress . . . certainly all the backroom deals to the extent that Congress has gone to probably did not occur with the Massachusetts legislature. How you can say the plans are similar is beyond me when nobody but a small number of Congressmen know what it in the Obama plan (which continually changes to accomodate certain groups). I can tell that Brown’s win has really struck a nerve with you, Cynthia.

Johnnie Orange

January 20th, 2010
12:19 pm

Scott Brown told the voters of MA loud and clear that he would vote against Obamacare. They elected him with full knowledge of his position. He’s going to vote against it if it comes to a vote. How is that hypocrisy?

Turd Ferguson

January 20th, 2010
12:20 pm

MassCare is all but bankrupt

Shawny

January 20th, 2010
12:21 pm

#1 – he voted for a bill for the state of Mass.
#2 – states do things locally, and far more efficient than the one size fits all approach of the federal govt.
#3 – while he hasn’t yet voted against fed govt mandated health care, the citizens of Mass just did when they elected him.
#4 – citizens in the bluest of blue states made a statement.

Why don’t you listen to that statement?
I know the answer.

Peadawg

January 20th, 2010
12:21 pm

Cynthia calling someone else a hypocrite…isn’t that calling the kettle….i better not say it or she’ll call me racist!

Jack

January 20th, 2010
12:21 pm

Brown for president.

CINDY STINKS

January 20th, 2010
12:22 pm

The Obama health care plan will NOT hold down costs. The most cost effective government health care program is Medicaid, not the nursing home part, but the health care part. The house bill has a provision that Medicaid must pay at least as much as Medicare for services, a BIG cost increase for Medicaid. Why is Medicaid so cost effective? Because the State must pony up ~30% of the money, so they hold down the reimbursement rate for hospitals and doctors. Reform would mandate much higher costs for the most cost effective government health care program.

NYorker

January 20th, 2010
12:23 pm

That was on the state level and the bill was not written by the unions and the far left, so whatever on that comment, your being a sore loser…I just hope Obama tells Nancy P. to take a seat and relax, he is in charge.

Here is his chance to run our country the right way, checks and balances are back!!

Bradley G

January 20th, 2010
12:24 pm

Cynthia, as a republican, may I first sincerely applaud you on tackling this issue…AND responding to comments with respect. Even though I NEVER agree with you, I at least can admire that.

Now, I wish to hear your views on what Brown’s being elected means to the power struggle and policies that are currently being fought in Washington. Significant? Nothing at all?

Wes

January 20th, 2010
12:24 pm

Cynthia,

I have no idea what the GOP means.

What I mean is that each state can decide for itself what requirements it wants to impose on it’s citizens. If that means that some states will allow risk based denial of coverage, full public option, or any other stop along the continuum, that is each state’s decision. By allowing each of the 50 states to decide we get to see what works and what doesn’t without imposing an untested idea on all of us at once.

smart black guy

January 20th, 2010
12:25 pm

The Dems and the Repubs need to sit down and work out a better option for healthcare reform… This bill that they have currently is CRAP, and WE THE PEOPLE do not want it in its current form..

In a FREE society, NO ONE is FORCED TO BUY ANYTHING!

Johnnie Orange

January 20th, 2010
12:29 pm

“Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, esteemed citizen of Massachusetts

MA Employer

January 20th, 2010
12:29 pm

Keep in mind that even as the Mass plan went through back in 2005 it was recognized as a work in process. No one knew how the dynamics would play out. I know that Romney’s vision was that the insurance Exchange would become much more competitive than the current administration has allowed to happen. I am currently paying almost $14000 a year per employees on a family plan and the EE contibutes half. I am stuck with only one provider. Romney’s vision was for me to give a $7000 voucher to my EE for insurance and the EE could go into an exchange where all insureres would have to compete for his business. Competition was to be the key. I’ll never forgive Romney for leaving without finishing the job but do respect his vision for what might someday be a part of the solution.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 20th, 2010
12:30 pm

I would respectfully suggest that “capacity to learn from one’s past mistakes” can be a basis for a change in policy. I think Massachusetts republicans grasp that principle. I perceive our revered president has not yet grasped that truth.

Mr Charlie

January 20th, 2010
12:33 pm

Cynthia, I believe heath care had room for improvement, but why does it have to be rammed through?

Are union member really exempt from being taxed on the same plan that I have to pay tax on? What happened to transparancy and full discussion?

I am proud of my country for what happened last night. Are you?

Blue

January 20th, 2010
12:33 pm

CT: “There will be tremendous pressure on him not to negotiate with Dems. As Charles Grassley of Iowa eventually admitted, he would be excoriated by his party if he voted for health care reform, no matter what kind of legislation it was.” Let me ask you, point blank…do not BOTH parties currently operate in this manner?

Mr Charlie

January 20th, 2010
12:36 pm

Cynthia, you are to the Dems, what Rush is to the Republicans. Your hatred for the other side makes you blind.

Ridgerunner

January 20th, 2010
12:36 pm

Obama now knows what a 7.1 earthquake feels like!

Betsy

January 20th, 2010
12:38 pm

You italicize “very similar” in comparing the health care plan in MA to the horrific plan being proposed in Washington DC, since that’s the only thing that has any weight in your article. Is it at all possible that this is an exaggeration? Obama, Pelosi Reid, et al had no hand in the MA plan, thank goodness.

Besides, is this all you have to say about the win of a republican in an overpoweringly democratic state? That he won because somebody somewhere is a liar and a fraud? Ho hum. I say that somebody somewhere better take note, better sit up and listen. The voters have spoken, and you don’t like it, so what? Good grief, madam, just good grief. Your articles get lamer and lamer.

rdh

January 20th, 2010
12:39 pm

Yeah, Cynthia, but would Scott Brown have voted for Universal healthcare in MA if that plan failed to treat everyone equally?

Example, would they have voted for that plan if the state reps for Boston had said “hey, were are not voting for it unless you give citizens of Boston a vouncher for 50% off their health care for 8 years” or “the representitive of Maynard will not vote for this plan unless you pay for our citizens healthcare forever”? These are the kinds of deals that the Democrats have been cutting with the Unions, Nebraska, federal workers, etc.

Further, you fail to bring up the fact that premiums in Massachusetts have SKYROCKETED:

http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2009/08/22/bay_state_health_insurance_premiums_highest_in_country/

Massachusetts has the highest per capita income in the nation. Maybe they can afford this. But I can’t.

You can’t say what is good for MA is good for the country. You can’t say that because a person voted on something 5/10/15/20 years ago that they must always vote similarly on similar issues forever, lest they be a hypocrite.

Joey

January 20th, 2010
12:40 pm

It appears that Brown learned from his past experiences. The question is: Will Emanuel, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Nelson, Waters, Frank, etc. learn from this recent experience?

Blue

January 20th, 2010
12:41 pm

Cynthia’a rules:

#1. If someone who is Republican votes for something and then later realizes that it is wrong and PUBLICLY announces where they stand, they are a hypocrite.

#2. If someone on the left does the same, they are not.

It’s real easy, people.

Csquared

January 20th, 2010
12:42 pm

what i’m interested in is the ALTERNATIVE plan to be presented by Republicans. Since we all know they’re not in favor of the current plan, they OBVIOUSLY have one in the wings waiting to go. Let’s hear it and move on. Or is the only thing they want is to shut this one down WITHOUT any alternative?

Blue

January 20th, 2010
12:43 pm

Betsy; WELL said. And notice that she still has not answered the very well reasoned questions of some of the posts above? She will pick and choose.

Joey

January 20th, 2010
12:49 pm

Csquared:
If you are sincerely interested in the Republican plan just Google “Republican Health Care Plan.”

Cosby Smith

January 20th, 2010
12:51 pm

Ahh, Brown voted for health care before he voted against it. First, it is not the same plan. 2,000 to 2,500 pages of pork, special kickbacks, payouts, taxes, increased state funding does not make a health care plan. This vote was not about just health care, but about wasteful spending, catering to special interest groups, behind closed door deals, lack of national security and business as usual in DC. It was a refrendom on a new direction with less government. If I were an incumbent from either party, I would be concerned. But alas, Cynthia only has tunnel vision and is unable to look at the entire picture. but then I belong to the “Tea Party”, you know, those hoodlums that do not understand and are evil.

Blue

January 20th, 2010
12:54 pm

Cosby; Cynthia will thank you to not bother her with useless facts that may disprove her myopic views. This is ONLY about healthcare, and the plans were exactly the same. “Pay no attention that that man behind the curtain” is her mantra.

ctucker

January 20th, 2010
12:56 pm

Ridgerunner,
I am not at all angry. I am, however, interested in keeping the discussion on my blog civil and on-topic, so I’m trying a little experiment to see if my commenting more frequently will encourage my readers to be more civil. There are actually people who would like to have a thoughtful discussion about political issues, and I want them to think of this blog as a safe space for them.

ctucker

January 20th, 2010
12:57 pm

Bradley, On Jan. 15, I posted an item in which I described Coakley’s potential loss as “catastrophic” for the Democrats. In the short-term, it is. And it certainly gives the Republicans Big Mo going into the mid-term elections.

Ivan

January 20th, 2010
12:58 pm

So a guy who voted for a state-wide healthcare bill is against a national healthcare bill. Why is that so hard to believe? Ya know, letting the states decide what’s best for them. Oh, I forgot the liberal motto:

“You’re stupid. We know what’s best for you.”

Shawny

January 20th, 2010
1:02 pm

At least Jim Webb is convinced it is a referendum on fed govt healthcare. If the rest of the dems and pundits get the message, they may actually try to understand what the people really do want and not what they want. It could happen. seriously.

Jimmy62

January 20th, 2010
1:06 pm

Hey Cynthia… You say 50% are satisfied? Yet the 85% of Americans who said they were happy with their current healthcare didn’t matter to you?

And maybe, just maybe, Brown was for universal health care, saw how badly it was working, and how much money it was going to cost the state over time, and realized it was a bad idea? Unlike liberals, Scott Brown might have looked at results instead of fantasy and realized he was wrong.

Also, the election already happened, it’s over. You should have made this point before, not after.

Jimmy62

January 20th, 2010
1:09 pm

CSquared, you ahve been asleep like the rest of the left. The right and the GOP have been putting out ideas for reform again and again, and they get ignored and called the party of no. What should be happening is the Democrats should be called the party of blinders.

CINDY STINKS

January 20th, 2010
1:10 pm

Dear Csquared – We already have an alternative health care plan that covers all the poor, it is called Medicaid. Unfortunately, most of the program has been hijacked by the elderly as a Long Term Care benefit, leaving very little for health care of the poor. We need to separate the LTC part of Medicaid from the Health Care part, then starve the LTC part into oblivion. The elderly already have Medicare, but being greedy little pigs, they also want LTC, at no cost to themselves. Lawyers have a pro bono duty to provide free legal services to the courts, where they represent the people with no money to hire a lawyer. This is to repay the public for the privilege of practicing law. In a similar vein, Medical Doctors should be required to accept a certain percentage of Medicaid patients, as a privilege of practicing medicine in the community. That would solve the access problem for the low reimbursement Medicaid program, and save the Medical Doctors from paying much higher taxes to support Obama care.

ctucker

January 20th, 2010
1:18 pm

Jimmy62, Put your reading glasses on. I said “59 percent” are satisfied with Mass health care plan. BTW, 28 percent are opposed and 13 percent don’t know or have no opinion, according to the poll.