KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Brown: Mass. Voters Shouldn’t Have To Pay For National Health Reform

The Washington Post: "While many are describing the election to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy's Senate seat as a referendum on national health-care reform, the Republican candidate rode to victory on a message more nuanced than flat-out resistance to universal health coverage: Massachusetts residents, he said, already had insurance and should not have to pay for it elsewhere." The Post notes that Scott Brown "voted for the state's health-care legislation, which was signed by then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R)" and has "not disavowed his support for the state's law." 

His "message underscores a little-noticed political dynamic in a country where rates of the uninsured vary widely, from Massachusetts to Texas, where 25 percent are uninsured. Seeking national universal coverage means sending money from states that have tried hard to expand coverage, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest, to states that have not, mostly in the South and West" (MacGillis, 1/21).

NPR: "Brown didn't take any partisan shots at the president's health care plan. Instead, he said, voters were disgusted by the ugly sausage-making of the legislative process." NPR quotes Brown saying, "People are tired of the business as usual. What does that mean? That means the behind-the-scenes deals, the Nebraska, you know, subsidizing a Medicaid forever. Things like that have just -- just drive people crazy" (Liasson, 1/20). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.