Keller @ Large: Sen. Brown To Break Party Lines?

BOSTON (CBS) – Sen. Scott Brown is breaking with his party and making headlines.

Brown said he’ll vote no on a controversial Medicare reform plan.

WBZ’s Jon Keller is at large:

Just a week ago, the senator seemed to support the Republican plan.

See: Keller @ Large Blog

Brown understands the politics of survival in a staunchly democratic state, and with challengers like Newton Mayor Setti Warren already chasing him, his statement to the website Politico on Monday should come as no surprise, even though he has praised the GOP for seeking reforms.

“I fear that as health inflation rises, the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support — and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays,” Brown said.

Brown is rejecting Republican Paul Ryan’s plan, which could expose him to backlash from the same folks who have been trashing presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for his since-recanted dismissal of Ryan’s reforms.

“I don’t think right wing social engineering is any more desirable than left wing social engineering,” said Gingrich, in a recent interview.

On the Medicare issue, Brown has bigger worries than angry conservatives.

“I’m pleased that Sen. Brown has backed away from supporting the privatizing of Medicare,” said Setti Warren, his Democratic opponent in the 2012 Senate election.

Mayor Warren agrees with Brown in that there may be alternatives for reining in medicare costs, including cracking down on fraud and making it harder to sue doctors.

Mayor Warren, though, is sounding a theme you will hear a lot from Brown’s critics: representing the people of Massachusetts and the Republican party is too often a conflict of interest.

Senate Democrats are pushing for a vote on the medicare budget as early as Wednesday.

More from Jon Keller
  • H.Wilson

    This kid willo just as Mitch tells him to..Look at the stuff he has gone along with “them” to this point. Independent, my fanny. Just another pretty face with no morals or ethics behind it..t

  • Susan

    Seems like it’s always flip flop season for Senator Brown. But, it didn’t take him long to figure out that this is the best job he’ll ever have.

  • graywolf

    And just when I begin to count Brown out, he surprises me. I do not like the terms breaking party lines or voting your party. It shows a narrow minded view. It remains to be seen whether Brown has changed his mind because of Warren breathing down his neck or he really believes the medicare reforms are not good for the elderly and others on medicare. Either way I agree with him and admire a person who will vote for what he thinks best and not what his party tells him to vote for.

  • Ed Hall

    The only reason Brown is voting against the budget proposal is that Mitch McConnell, seeing the writing on the wall, gave permission to his minions to vote against it if they wanted. Before McConnell said this, Brown was planning to vote for it, and said so.

    • graywolf

      Ed I am inclined to agree with you. Our friend Newt is backtracking on his comments about Ryan’s plan now that he’s tossed his hat in the race also. Seems to be a trend.

  • fred

    So if this goes down -what do we do then about the deficit? Lets look at the democrat leaderships alternative – oh wait, they have no plan – and the ideas they have just kick the can down the road. The lets eliminate fraud and abuse is a fraud in itself. Show me where this administration has eliminated fraud and abuse from any program. Ryans plan starts a process of responsibility and taking charge of your own affairs – Brown is just doing this vote to appease his independent base – if his were a deciding vote he may have voted the other way. It’s time to bite the bullet and do what is necessary regardless what the whiners say. If not now – when?

    • graywolf

      I don’t thing “doing what is necessary” belongs on the backs of the elderly while the wealthy continue to get tax breaks and that is exactly what Ryan’s plan would do. I need to understand how anyone would refuse a senior citizen or any other person health care while giving even more money to the top 1% who have received two-thirds of Income gains in this country in since 2001. That is ultra right wing politics at its worst.

  • Neil Sagan

    Scott Brown votes 90% GOP. Susan Collins and Jim DeMint vote less with their party than Scott Brown. Let’s not pretend Scott is moderate. He is a social conservative but that’s not the same a moderate who votes 60% with party and 40% across the aisle.

    Why is it a big deal? Because the legislation the house GOP is passing is far right and extremely unpopular such as the Medicare destruction Act of 2011. This is not your grandfather’s GOP. It is extreme and Scott brown votes GOP 90% of the time.

  • Neil Sagan

    Setti Warren nails it: Scott Brown “backed away” from his announcement that he would vote for Ryan’s plan. That gives me no comfort about Scott brown’s politics.

  • David Grantz

    Slow the pace at which the rich get richer, just a little. Then gradually phase in the removal of corporate tax loopholes. Phase in a “Build It in America” policy that requires those who sell in America to build a hefty percentage of their products here. Our country must build the job base here, or citizens will continue witness the erosion of their standard of living at the expense of crass corporacrats who subvert the truth about what they are doing to the nation.

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