Sen. Coburn: GOP Alternative Health Bill Held From Vote

Monday, 28 Oct 2013 01:18 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Republicans wrote an alternative healthcare bill in 2009, when the Democratically led Congress drafted what would become Obamacare, but they were "never allowed" to vote on it, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn said Monday.

"Myself and [North Carolina Sen.] Richard Burr had the Patient Choice Act, which we never could get a vote on," Coburn, a Republican, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Story continues below video.

"They didn't want to vote on it, because they were afraid we would get more votes," Coburn said. "We were never allowed a vote on it."

The Republican bill was similar to Obamacare, except healthcare would be managed by the private sector instead of the federal government, Coburn said.

"Every aspect you're seeing that's positive in the Affordable Care Act was in that bill, except ours doesn't cost $2.6 trillion. Ours isn't run by the government. Ours is run by the private sector, with transparency, and mandates that you have to be transparent," he said.

Calling Medicare "bankrupt," Coburn pointed to "incompetencies" in systems run by the federal government. He used the Obamacare rollout and subsequent website difficulties as an example.

"Medicare is bankrupt. Twenty percent of everything that's spent in Medicare is defrauded from the government," he said. "We don't function effectively when the government does it.

"What you're seeing roll out with the Affordable Care Act is the same incompetencies we see in large bureaucratic institutions. Not that the ideas are bad in the Affordable Care Act. We're incompetent to roll it out. And, we've proven that today."

Related Stories:

Sen. Coburn: 'We're Drunk' on Government Spending
House Republicans to Newsmax: Let Obamacare Take Effect and Die


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