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MEMO: Remember Scott Brown 41?

Now that the Supreme Court’s majority has chosen legal precedent over Republican talking points, voters of Massachusetts should be reminded that despite his claims of bipartisanship, Brown took office on a promise to be the 41st vote against health care reform. Brown’s efforts – to drive young adults off their parent’s health insurance coverage, to allow insurance companies to deny coverage for a pre-existing condition or to cancel your coverage after you get sick – have been frustrated. And the people of Massachusetts have learned that their Senator is more concerned about standing with his party’s leaders than taking real action to address the problems that plague our nation.

Background:

Brown Spoke Out against Health Care Bill. At a press conference at the headquarters of the Massachusetts Republican Party in Boston, Scott Brown spoke out against the health care reform bill. He said, “I could be the 41st senator that could stop the Obama proposal that’s being pushed right now through Congress. I could stop it and they could bring it back to the drawing board.” According to the Boston Globe, “Brown said this afternoon that everyone should have some form of health care coverage, but much of that should be done on a state-by-state basis. And while he supports the landmark health care proposal that Massachusetts approved in 2006, he said, he doesn’t see any benefit to the Bay State that the federal legislation would provide. ‘My primary responsibility is to ensure that the people of Massachusetts get the best value for their dollar,’ Brown said. ‘I’m not concerned about subsidizing South Dakota or North Dakota or Idaho or other states.’” The article also noted that Brown has filed a bill to ease requirements for insurance companies which, he said, would bring down costs. He believes that they should not be required to cover some medical procedures, like in vitro fertilization. [Boston Globe, 12/28/09]

Brown Voted for Romney’s Health Care Mandate, But Opposed Obama’s Health Care Mandate. While in the state Senate, Brown supported a requirement pushed by then Governor Mitt Romney for all Massachusetts citizens to get health insurance. “‘In Massachusetts, it helped us deal with the very real problem of uncompensated care,’ Brown said.” However, Brown campaigned on opposing the Affordable Care Act, which included a similar requirement. “Brown said his opposition to the new law is over tax increases, Medicare cuts, and federal overreach on a matter that he says should be left up to states.” [Boston Globe, 3/28/10]

Brown Voted Against Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. Brown voted against final passage of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act. The American Banker reported, “The Senate approved sweeping student-loan reforms Thursday, including the elimination of subsidies for banks to make federal loans. The legislation was passed along party lines on a vote of 56-43. The bill, which also enacts reforms approved by the House as part of the massive health-care overhaul, was passed under the filibuster-proof reconciliation process.” [Vote #105, 3/25/10; American Banker, 3/26/10]

Brown Voted For Resolution to Defund Health Care Law. Brown voted for a resolution that would defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, legislation that President Obama signed into law in 2010 that overhauled the nation’s health care system. The resolution would make an enrollment correction to legislation funding the federal government (H.R.1473) that would defund the health care reform law. [Vote #59, 4/14/11; Congressional Quarterly Today,4/14/11]

Brown Voted to Repeal Health Care Law, Which Would Cost America Billions and Leave Millions Uninsured. Brown voted to waive all budget points of order on a McConnell Amendment to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Congressional Quarterly Today reported, “The Senate also rejected, 47-51, a motion to waive a budgetary point of order against an amendment offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that would have repealed the entire health care law (PL 111-148) as well as health care provisions in a related reconciliation law (PL 111-152). All Republicans backed the repeal, while no Democrats supported it. “This is a budget-buster amendment,” said Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., who said the amendment would add $230 billion to the national deficit over 10 years and an additional trillion dollars over the following decade.” According to the Congressional Budget Office, it is estimated that repealing the health care legislation would cost Americans $230 billion in ten years and would leave an additional 32 million people without health insurance. [Vote #9, 2/2/11; Congressional Quarterly Today, 2/2/11; Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 2/5/11]

Brown Voted to Advance Amendment to Repeal New Health Care Law. Brown voted against tabling a Vitter Amendment to the health care reconciliation bill. The Republican reported, “Voting 58 for and 39 against, the Senate on March 24 tabled (killed) a Republican amendment to HR 4872 (above) to immediately repeal the new health law. Sponsor David Vitter, R-La., said his amendment ‘would repeal this new ‘Obamacare’ plan.’” [Vote #84, 3/24/10; The Republican, 3/28/10]