Dozens of Medicaid recipients, providers and advocates demand answers from Senator Scott Brown

editor’s note: Scott Brown needs to be dumped by the voters this fall. Brown is nothing more than a smooth-talking opportunist. He puts his finger in the wind and decides how to vote based on: WILL THIS GET ME RE-ELECTED? No character. No moral code. No beliefs worth fighting for – so unlike our late, great Teddy Kennedy. Brown is just an empty vessel wearing a barn jacket.

We miss Kennedy now more than ever. He would be the voice of reason, the voice of compassion, the wind beneath our wings.

– R. Tirella

Dozens of Medicaid recipients, providers and advocates demand answers from the commonwealth’s junior senator as national debt deadline looms!

BOSTON – As politicians continued their high-stakes horse trading over the national debt in Washington, dozens of Massachusetts residents directly affected by the negotiations rallied Thursday to demand answers from their own US Senator, Scott Brown. The broad coalition of local Medicaid recipients, service providers and independent living advocates gathered to ask Brown: “Will you choose Medicaid or Millionaires?”

“Because of my disability, I depend on Medicaid funds to live and work independently,” said David Sandison, a local Medicaid recipient who relies on in-home assistance. “So I have a question for Scott Brown: will you vote to save Medicaid, or will you support tax breaks for oil companies and billionaires?”

Questions from constituents and journalists on debt-related Medicaid cuts have gone unanswered for weeks, as Brown and his staff continue to avoid taking a position on more than $500 billion in proposed cuts to federal health care programs.

Stacy Hart, a consumer advocate with the Boston Center for Independent Living, explained that for many families – including her own – the funding of Medicaid programs is a matter of life and death. “Medicaid saved my husband’s life. He was in a coma for several months until the doctors could address a very serious medical condition,” said Hart. “Without Medicaid, my husband never would have woken up, rejoined his family, or come back to work as a member of the community. We need to know where Scott Brown stands on these cuts.”

Joseph Rotella, a successful business owner from Waltham, called on Brown to do the right thing for the most vulnerable in Massachusetts – even if that means raising taxes.

“I’m a beneficiary of the Bush-era tax cuts. But as someone fortunate enough to be in the top income bracket, I’m fully able and willing to make my contribution to society,” said Rotella. “So I have to ask Scott Brown to take a hard look at where his priorities lie. Will he stand up and protect Medicaid funding for those who need it most? Or will he cut those funds to protect tax breaks that aren’t really necessary?”

Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Executive Director of Health Care for All, put the decision before Brown in the starkest of terms, calling on the senator to set partisanship aside and take a stand in support of his constituents.

“I know it’s tough for Senator Brown to balance serving his party and serving the people of Massachusetts – but there should be no choice between maintaining the health of our state’s elderly and disabled residents and cutting taxes for the most wealthy among us,” said Whitcomb Slemmer. “Hundreds of billions of dollars in health care cuts, and millions of lives, are at stake. We call on Senator Brown to show leadership by supporting health care for our state’s most vulnerable populations.”

As of press time, Brown has offered no additional clarity on his potential support of the $500 billion health care cut – or tax breaks for the wealthiest of Americans – that remain at the center of ongoing debt negotiations.

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