Lynne Hendricks of The Daily News of Newburyport is reporting that Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has pledged to vote for the GOP budget put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) when the measure comes to the Senate floor. “The leaders will bring forward (Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s) budget, and I will vote for it, and it will fail,” he said, predicting that “It will be great fodder for the commercials.”
The “fodder” will be well justified since Brown ran for office on his opposition to the Medicare reductions included in what eventually became the Affordable Care Act. Ryan’s budget preserves many of these cuts and goes much further, eliminating the traditional Medicare coverage option for future retirees. During the campaign, however, Brown insisted that reductions in Medicare would create “longer lines” and less coverage:
- “You look at health care, and they are going to cut a half-a-trillion from Medicare. They`re looking in Massachusetts. We already have insurance. We have 98 percent of our people insured, so why we would we in fact cut medical — you know, Medicare half-a-trillion, have longer lines, lesser coverage, subsidize other states?” [Fox News, 1/13/2010]
- “Well, I traveled throughout the state while they were in the middle of their primary. I went door to door, I went out to the Berkshires and central Massachusetts and made sure we could really get every single vote. And people enjoyed the message, because when you’re talking about a health care plan that’s not good for our state vs. a one-size-fits-all plan with you’re going to cut half a trillion from Medicare, affect Tricare and raise taxes, people are hurting right now and they thought we could do better.” [NBC, 1/20/2010]
- “I think it`s important for everyone to get some of health care. So, to offer a basic plan for everybody, I think, is important. It`s just a question of whether we`re going to raise taxes, we`re going to cut a half-a-trillion from Medicare, we`re going to affect veterans` care. I think we can do it better.” [PBS, 1/20/2010]
Ryan’s plan would eliminate $750 billion in federal Medicare spending and give seniors “premium support” vouchers to purchase coverage from private insurers beginning in 2022.