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April 10, 2014

Senate hopeful Brown: Health law costs liberty

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Hoping to return to Washington by way of New Hampshire, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is using a variation of the state's "Live Free or Die" motto to argue against President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law.

Brown planned to formally announce his Senate bid Thursday night. In excerpts of remarks provided by his campaign, he said the health care law forces people to "live free or log on."

"Along with our money and our health plans, for a lot of us, it feels like we're losing our liberty, too. Obamacare forces us to make a choice, live free or log on — and here in New Hampshire, we choose freedom," Brown planned to tell supporters Thursday night.

Brown's formal campaign announcement comes a month after he launched an exploratory committee and four months after he moved to his former vacation home in Rye. He faces several other Republican primary opponents hoping to defeat Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in November.

Shaheen's support for the health care overhaul law is likely to be a major issue in the campaign. Earlier this week, Brown issued a press release about a recent survey of insurance brokers saying "insurance premiums are going up 90 percent in New Hampshire because of Obamacare."

He toned that down a bit in his announcement, saying "premiums are way up for a lot of people — by 90 percent, according to one survey." But only a single New Hampshire broker was included in the survey, and even if the 90 percent figure is accurate, it refers only to the premium increase for individual policy holders. Less than 7 percent of New Hampshire's insured have individual plans; the vast majority of insured residents are covered by their employers.

Brown also argues that Shaheen was the "deciding vote" to pass the health overhaul law — a label Republicans can apply to any Democrat since the bill passed with the exact number of votes necessary to avoid a GOP filibuster.

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