Reid: Cancer-Stricken Sen. Coburn 'In the Weeds' on Obamacare

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 12:15 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has shrugged off cancer patient Sen. Tom Coburn's concerns for Americans that the majority of cancer specialty centers in the United States are not covered by Obamacare.

Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said the Oklahoma Republican was "in the weeds" when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, according to the Washington Examiner.

Coburn, who is battling a recurrence of prostate cancer, lashed out on Tuesday at the coverage given to cancer victims under the Affordable Care Act.

Editor's Note:: Prostate Cancer Is Almost Epidemic - Prevent It

"Nineteen of the cancer centers in this country, only five are covered under Obamacare," he said, blaming the low payments under the Affordable Care Act for the problem.

"You know, it's a market, and what they've done is they've priced it where these cancer centers, a lot of them, aren't going to participate because they don't get paid to cover the costs."

Coburn, a medical doctor who plans to retire at the end of the year even though his term runs through 2016, revealed earlier this year that his cancer center would not cover him, but it has since changed its policy and accepted him as a patient.

In a Senate briefing on Wednesday, Reid fired back at the Republican, saying, "Dr. Coburn is very good at getting into the weeds and trying to find something that he thinks makes sense, but I think we need to look at the overall context of this bill."

And while praising the White House announcement that 7 million people had enrolled in Obamacare by the March 31 deadline, Reid added, "It really brings a lot of people in from the cold so that they have the ability to get health insurance, which they've never had the opportunity [to do] before."

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However, earlier on Wednesday, Coburn told Fox & Friends that the Obamacare enrollment numbers are skewed because most people who signed up had health insurance plans that were canceled under the health reform law, and that fewer than a million people fell into the category of newly insured.

"We'll see how many people really signed up when we see how many people pay. And, one of the measures of that will be what the premium increases are coming [in] late April, early May, for next year's premiums," Coburn said.

Editor's Note:: Prostate Cancer Is Almost Epidemic - Prevent It

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