Sen. Franken says Mass. election upset will shift health care debate

Scott Brown
Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, applauds his supporters at rally in Wrentham, Mass., Monday, Jan. 18, 2010.
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

U.S. Senator Al Franken says he and other Democrats in the Senate will meet this morning to gauge the impact of yesterday's Senate election upset in Massachusetts.

The win by Republican Scott Brown will eliminate the Democrats' filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Franken said he doesn't think Democrats will try to rush a deal with the House through the Senate before Brown's election is certified.

"This is a substantial enough victory that he should be seated as soon as legally possible," Franken said. "He won by 100,000 votes, which was about 100,000 more votes that I won by."

Franken said he thinks health care reform was part of the reason Brown won but added that he thinks hesitant voters will ultimately be happy with the health care plan.

"This has been the case in the past. It was the case in Medicare," Franken said. "It was the case actually in Massachusetts, where people were reluctant at first, were skeptical at first, and now, according to a Harvard survey, 70 percent of the people are very happy with Massachussetts's health care system."

Massachusetts passed major health care reform under Republican governor Mitt Romney in 2006. It covered nearly all of the state's uninsured and requires residents to carry health insurance.