After wavering in his position on a controversial proposal to reform Medicare put forth by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) took a stand on the plan in a Politico op-ed published on Monday.
"While I applaud Ryan for getting the conversation started, I cannot support his specific plan — and therefore will vote 'no' on his budget," wrote the Republican senator.
Here's an excerpt of what Brown had to say in defining his position on the issue:
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.
Just over a week ago, however, Brown signaled a different stance on the issue.
"The leaders will bring forward [Ryan's] budget, and I will vote for it, and it will fail," he said while speaking at an event in his home state, according to the Newburyport Daily News. "Then the president will bring forward his budget, and it will fail. ... It will be great fodder for the commercials."
Days after Brown made the remarks, the AP reported:
The Massachusetts Republican said in a statement that he favors the overall direction Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget takes toward reducing spending.
But Brown declined, through a spokesman, to say if he backs Ryan’s proposed Medicare overhaul, or if he would vote for the Ryan budget plan.
The budget plan introduced by Ryan is likely to be a contentious issue in the next election cycle. While Brown will run to keep his seat in 2012, he does not currently face serious Democratic competition ahead of his run for reelection.