Scott Brown pivots, claims he’s against plan to kill Medicare

By Kase Wickman
Monday, May 23, 2011 12:01 EDT
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Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has performed a complete 180 within the past two weeks, pivoting from praising the Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) plan to phase out Medicare to penning a Politico op-ed voicing his disapproval for the plan, according to Talking Points Memo.

Brown, who is up for re-election in 2012, headlined his Politico screed, “Why I don’t back Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.”

“While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started, I cannot support his specific plan — and therefore will vote ‘no’ on his budget,” Brown wrote, citing additions to the national deficit and the $500 billion that has already been cut from the private side of Medicare.

However, Brown told state business leaders on May 13 that he would vote for the plan, though he acknowledged that it would fail when put to a vote in the Senate. At another meeting in Westminster, Mass., he praised Ryan’s plan again.

“Finally we had congressman Ryan come forth with a budget proposal, thank God, because we haven’t had one in a couple years and that now has forced the debate and forced the President actually to come forth with his budget proposal,” Brown said.

Now, instead of further cutting funding from the program, Brown proposed in the op-ed that more government oversight is added to the program to cut down on the estimated $60 billion in wasted money attributed to fraud and abuse of the system.

Brown hails himself as a moderate Republican in a blue state, but his earlier support of Ryan’s budget plan put Brown to the right of former House speaker and 2012 GOP candidate Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich called the Ryan budget plan “right-wing social engineering“, but backtracked after his remarks sparked a torrent of anger from the right.

Brown concluded in his op-ed, “This is not the time for finger-pointing or the usual blame game. For every reckless decision – on both sides of the aisle – that led us to this point where we are $14 trillion in debt, we now will have to make a hard decision to help get the country on the right track.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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