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Brown: ‘It’s Important for Everyone to Get Some Form of Health Care’

BOSTON — At his first press conference as senator-elect from Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown hued pretty closely to the rhetoric of his campaign and welcomed questions about what his win meant for the future of the GOP. And asked what parts of health care reform he wanted to pass this year, Brown spoke vaguely about the value of expanded coverage while saying it should be left to the states.

“Let the states tell the federal government, hey, this is what we’d like to do,” said Brown. “Just so we’re past campaign mode, I think it’s important for everyone to get some form of health care, so to offer a basic plan for everybody I think is important.” He pointed out that he’d voted for this state’s health care mandate, but he saw his role “as the 41st senator” to bring the reform bill “back to the drawing board.”

After Fox News’s Carl Cameron asked what side of the GOP’s ideological tussle he’d take as the party’s “poster boy,” Brown mused about working between party lines and blowing off Washington chatter.

“Maybe there’s a new breed of Republican coming to Washington,” Brown said. “I hear all these discussions about someone who said this, or someone who wrote this in their book. My response is: Who cares? We have terrorists trying to blow us up in Afghanistan.”

Brown quickly dealt with, and brushed aside, questions about when he might be seated. He’d filed the requisite paperwork with the secretary of state, was confident that absentee ballots would not diminish the margin of victory to the point where it was in question, and would pay a courtesy call to senators tomorrow.

Brown was vague on what he’d do when he got to the Senate, suggesting that he could “offer guidance as to what we’ve done here in Massachusetts” and work across party lines. The only clear sign he gave of his other intentions was a warning about some expiring Bush tax cuts–he wanted to save them.

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