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.