The media was shocked, SHOCKED, that Senator Scott Brown’s daughter Ayla continues to receive health insurance via her father’s health plan since he campaigned as the 41st vote needed to stop the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Brown, nonchalantly, said there was nothing to see here folks.
But there is folks, there is. Brown said “Of Course, I do” when asked whether Ayla, 23, is still on his insurance since she can remain there until 26. Now Brown tried to explain that there is nothing contradictory about this position because he supports that aspect of the law…as long as state and not the federal government is requiring it.
If your head is having trouble with that one, it is actually very simple. Brown is hoping standard issue, “Let the states do it rhetoric will work.” As effective as that strategy is in the abstract, it is more problematic on specific issues. How well would a 50 state Social Security policy poll given the proviso that no state would be required to even have one? The answer is simple. It would not get a good reception. This kind of policy is the same.
This story is bad for Brown in two ways. Is anybody talking about the scandalously dishonest implication that Warren did not earn her way to her current position or that two former city mayors endorsed Brown? No. The second problems is the optics. Brown cannot escape the fact that Brown’s own family benefits from the very law he vows on the campaign trail to repeal. Voters are not going to readily digest the “let the states do it” argument especially since so much of the federal law, he supported as a state legislator. If the other factors in play in 2010 we know so well were not there, but Brown’s campaign to be the 41st anti-HCR seat remained, he would have been creamed. Latter day state’s rights, is just not the same music to our ears as it is elsewhere.
Will this sink Brown for the election? No. There is still much, MUCH more work to be done. However it does expose Brown the weather vane. The Senator who stands up for his belief and finds independent-minded solutions like the French Radical who says, “There go my people. I must find out where they are going so that I may lead them.” Or, to paraphrase Chris Murphy from neighboring Connecticut during a recent radio appearance, senators like Brown (or Olympia Snowe, whom Murphy mentioned by name) sit in the middle and wait for compromise to come to them. That’s not leadership. But that is Scott Brown and this fiasco is only the latest proof.