Scott Brown officially designated a RINO


But that’s an improvement over anything else we’re going to see coming out of Massachusetts, so we’ll live with it.

Today’s heresy is an op-ed Brown has in Politico announcing he’ll vote against the Ryan plan.

 

First, 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. Protecting those who have been counting on the current system their entire adult lives should be the key principle of reform.

Second, Medicare has already taken significant cuts to help pay for Obama’s health care plan. The president and Congress cut a half trillion dollars to the private side of Medicare  meaning seniors are at risk of losing their Medicare Advantage coverage.

Another key principle is that seniors should not have to bear a disproportionate burden. But that doesn’t mean we do nothing. If Medicare is to survive for current beneficiaries and future generations, we must act. The sooner Congress addresses this, the less painful it is likely to be  but more difficult adjustments will be required if we delay.

…I plan on continuing to work with people of goodwill – in either party – to solve the very real problems we face. Our country is on an unsustainable fiscal path.

But I do not think it requires us to change Medicare as we know it. We can work inside of Medicare to make it more solvent.

He then goes on to propose “solutions” that will postpone tough choices thus creating more difficult adjustments later.

It’s not that Brown is a RINO that bothers me, that’s a given, it’s the cowardice. Brown proposes saving money through reducing fraud and abuse. Great, fine. It’s something that people have been talking about for 30 years and yet..it’s still there and with a program this large, it always will be. Besides, even if you take Brown’s number of $47-60 billion a year in fraud, you’re still screwed.

At least Brown didn’t take a cheap shot at Ryan like Newt did (before he laughably claimed he didn’t).

One possible mitigating factor in Brown’s favor is that this is a free vote leading into 2012 (when Brown is up for a full term). The Ryan plan isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s DoA in the Senate and everyone knows it. Yes, the more Republicans that come out against it hurt the reformers case in the public debate but it’s not like anyone really expects it to pass this year. The real challenge for a guy like Brown will be what happens in 2013 if the GOP gets the Senate and/or the White House. What would Brown do if this were the policy of the majority caucus? Hopefully we’ll have the chance to find out. The pressure will be greater to toe the line for the majority than it will be this year.

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