Posts Tagged - ‘scott brown’

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Republicans Trying To Repeal Healthcare Reform Bill

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

(Image: Fibonacci Blue under CC 3.0)

Less than 48 hours after President Obama and Democrats managed to pass a comprehensive health insurance reform bill, Republicans are already launching an effort to repeal it. The push for repeal is being led by Sen. John McCain, who plans to use procedural maneuvers to extend the length of the reconciliation process in the Senate. After some initial wavering, Senator Scott Brown–the Massachusetts Republican whose election made this process necessary–is also open to the repeal movement. The GOP may even force the new proposals into a separate House of Representatives vote.

Republican Senator Jim DeMint will shortly file legislation to repeal the affordable health insurance law, making it ineffective. However, the prospects of actual repeal are unlikely. It would require a full two thirds of both chambers of Congress to repeal a bill signed into law by the President, a threshold they probably won’t reach. Their best shot is to bog the Senate’s reconciliation vote down with amendments to such a degree that House Democrats who grudgingly voted in favor of the Senate bill become disenchanted (not to mention, further worried about re-election). Then, the parliamentarian, Alan Frumin, is responsible for upholding or rejecting their challenges.

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Scott Brown Warns Democrats Against Passing Healthcare Reform

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

(Image: Boston.com)

New Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has largely stayed under the radar since his election in January, although the impact of his win has reached far and wide. With 41 seats in the Senate, Republicans can now use the filibuster. The Obama administration has now resorted to pushing for budget reconciliation to avoid that and pass affordable health insurance reforms.

Brown thinks that wouldn’t be a smart move. He sees his victory as a message America is sending to Washington: kill the current bill. Whether or not the newly proposed changes (which include a handful of Republican proposals) are any more appealing to him than the bill he previously ran against is unknown, but the process by which they would become law appears somewhat unseemly. According to Brown, his state will be especially hurt, largely because there has already been Massachusetts health insurance reform–they’ll be subsidizing other states that didn’t take those steps, when it should be each state’s individual decision. Like many GOP politicians, he believes that Democrats will face massive losses in the fall elections if they go it alone and ignore their wishes.

President Obama has said that healthcare reform can’t wait, and that he is willing to be a one-term president in order to achieve the goals that he feels have been neglected by previous administrations. Do congressional Democrats have the same lack of self-preservation?

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Would The Public Warm Up to Healthcare Reform After the Fact?

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

According to Al Franken, the public needs to experience healthcare reform before they fully support it. Such a statement may sound pompous and elitist from the comedian-turned-Minnesota Senator, but the Democrat isn’t minimizing the significance of Republican Scott Brown’s victory, or the impact that health insurance issues had on the Massachusetts race. Nor is he encouraging Democrats to push through a bill before the senator-elect–who won by a 52%-to-47% margin–is seated.

Franken is just pointing towards history: a Harvard study showed that while reform in the Massachusetts health insurance system was initially greeted with skepticism, 70% of the state’s residents were content with it. Only 11% of Massachusetts residents wished that the reforms were repealed today; granted, it is a generally liberal state. The results of the special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s seat belie those statements, except that Brown has not hid his initial support for healthcare reform in his state. The Massachusetts reforms are quite similar to those proposed by Democratic legislators in the Senate, but Brown believes that enacting a “one-size-fits-all” national program is wrong.

For what it’s worth, Franken also claims that Medicare was also initially unpopular. Of course, now it is a public program prized by senior citizens, albeit one plagued with some budget issues. Attempts to make some cuts in Medicare reimbursements were part of what has derailed general individual health insurance reform.

(Image: Official Senate Website)

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Pelosi: House Not Voting For Senate Health Insurance Bill

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

A potential option for Democrats looking to pass healthcare reform despite losing their 60-vote super-majority is for the House of Representatives to accept the bill passed by the Senate in December, with no modifications. Some party members have proposed this as a solution to the health insurance crisis, with some promising to schedule a package of future improvements and amendments as soon as possible.

However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has shut down that avenue almost entirely. Although she is committed to passing reform this year, she claims that she is not in a rush to pass an imperfect bill she simply lacks the votes for. Pelosi is a supporter of the government-run health insurance public option. When the chances of such a plan being passed disappeared, she and other House liberals negotiated for more comprehensive reform. In her eyes, the Senate’s bill doesn’t go far enough in providing universal health insurance coverage.

What makes the Democratic caucus in the House especially opposed to the current Senate legislation? The embarrassing “Cornhusker compromise”, which secured Nebraska Senator Bill Nelson’s vote in exchange for excluding his state from having to pay for its Medicaid program, is the most prominent example of their objections. They also believe the amount of individual health insurance federal subsidies–which would be given to those falling under a certain income level, in order for them to buy a health insurance plan–is too small, and that a tax on “Cadillac” high-cost health plans will alienate unions.

(Image: Speaker of the House website)

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When Will Scott Brown Be Sworn In, Anyway?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown has asked to be seated as soon as possible, in order to deliver the vote against health insurance plan reform that he promised. Democrats in Washington, D.C. have publicly agreed. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has vowed to seat Brown as soon as the proper official paperwork is received. Democratic Senator Al Franken, who was unable to take his seat for several months due to a legal battle with his Republican opponent, also supported Brown’s speedy seating by invoking the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as they will do unto you.”

All of the well-wishes in the world, however, may not get Scott Brown on Capitol Hill any quicker. Standard Senate procedure would have him sworn in about two weeks from now, on February 3rd. That allows time for the state to tabulate absentee ballots and investigate for fraud. William Glavin, Massachusetts Secretary of State, promises to expedite the certification, which normally takes about 15 days in his state.

Depending on the final margin of victory, Glavin can declare Brown the unofficial winner; that way, Brown may be sworn in even quicker than expected. Senate Democrats have effectively decided to hold off on medical insurance reform votes until he arrives. The sooner Brown is seated, the sooner debate can continue.

(Image: ockam under CC 2.0)

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Anti Health Insurance Reform Scott Brown’s Daughter On American Idol?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

New Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is now most well-known for breaking a Democratic stronghold on the seat formerly held by the late Ted Kennedy. Just a few years ago, though, he was a regular state senator, as well as the proud parent of an American Idol contestant.

His daughter, Ayla Brown, narrowly missed the finals in Season 5. She was just 17 years old at the time. According to her official American Idol biography, her father is one of her role models. She also acknowledged him for his service in the National Guard. Ayla released an independent-label album before enrolling in Boston College and playing on their basketball team, while continuing to work on her music career. No doubt her student health insurance got put to good use! Scott Brown is also a devoted athlete.

Ayla was a prominent presence throughout Brown’s campaign, and was the first to announce his victory to supporters. While his opposition to health insurance reform was the driving factor behind his election, her local fame couldn’t have hurt. During his winning speech, Scott Brown informed the public that his now 21-year-old daughter is currently single, which resulted in her embarrassment!

Her music career has also received greater attention after Scott Brown’s win. She capitalized on her family’s increased by pledging to donate a portion of her album sales on election night to Haiti earthquake relief efforts.

Do you remember Ayla Brown from American Idol?

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