Brown Shows GOP How to Attack Health Care

Why should Mass. residents, who have near-universal care, subsidize others?
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 5:13 AM CST
Republican candidate Scott Brown shakes hands with employees while visiting the Zoll Medical Corporation in Chelmsford, Mass., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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(Newser) – Republicans are giddy over the success Scott Brown’s having in Massachusetts, seeing his health care-centric campaign as a model for its other candidates. If Brown even comes close to victory in the liberal state—and polls say he will—then candidates nationwide will be asking “what did he say, and how was he saying it,” one GOP strategist tells the Boston Globe. What he's telling Massachusetts voters—who already have near-universal health care—is that it's not in their state's interest to pass this bill.

Brown is succeeding by making economic arguments rather than ideological ones, arguing that under the bill Massachusetts residents would be subsidizing health care elsewhere, and perhaps paying higher taxes to do so. And he’s made hay about the special handouts Nebraska and Louisiana got in exchange for their votes. Crucially, he’s claimed he does support some kind of health care reform, which in the abstract remains popular.

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