Brown: health care ‘wrong’

By Matt Viser, Boston Globe Staff

Scott Brown: "Health care wrong"

WASHINGTON – US Senator Scott Brown this morning railed against the Democrats’ health care plan, saying they were failing to learn the lessons from his own surprising election in Massachusetts.

“I was sent here in a message almost, to the administration and people up on Capitol Hill that the American people expect us to do better,” Brown told a conference of the National Association of Health Underwriters. “You’re going to basically ram through something that is really unpopular and is clearly not good for the people in my state.”

Brown, in his most extensive public comments on health care since arriving in Washington, also criticized Democrats for considering using the budgetary reconciliation process to approve the health care overhaul. That process would require a majority vote instead of the 60 needed to overcome the expected Republican filibusters.

“Right now the health care plan they’re pushing — in particular and the way they’re trying to do it — is wrong,” Brown said during an 8-minute address, saying if reconciliation was used it would “be problematic for the next few years.” “We can do better. The administration can do better. And they say we have to do it now. With all due respect, what we need to do now is create jobs.”

“As I speak to people all across this country, they’re not really talking about health care,” he said. “…Enough of the backroom deals, enough of the parliamentary maneuvers. Enough, enough, enough. We need to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Brown said he believes that everyone should have health care, but it should be accomplished on individual state levels.

“Of course everybody deserves health care, a basic kind of health care. But why is there a one-size fits all for every single state in the country. We do it one way, Texas may do it another way, Oklahoma may do it another way. Why do we need this total domination of the government interference into our states? I’m a strong state’s rights believer.”

In a brief interview after the speech, Brown said there weren’t any components from the health care bill that was salvageable.

“What they’re trying to do is push something that really has no support,” he said. “When you have something that is clearly not done in an open manner, I don’t see how you push it through right now. I just don’t.”

Matt Viser can be reached at maviser@globe.com.

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