Tags: coburn | healthcare

GOP's Coburn: Obama's Healthcare Will Devastate Seniors

Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 03:39 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Sen. Tom Coburn tells Newsmax that Sen. Arlen Specter’s switch from the GOP to the Democratic Party is an example of the “disease” infecting Washington — placing self-interest ahead of the nation.

The Oklahoma Republican, who is a medical doctor, also warns that President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan would destroy the private healthcare insurance industry and ultimately lead to the rationing of medical care.

Newsmax.TV’s Ashley Martella asked Sen. Coburn what he knew about Obama’s healthcare plan.

“The plan is to mandate that people have to be in coverage,” said Coburn, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

See Video: Senator and physician Tom Coburn discusses the costs of Obama’s healthcare plans - Click Here Now

“Number two is to create a government-run health insurance program to allow people to buy it when they can’t buy it in the market. Think about that for a minute — if you can buy something from the government cheaper than you can from the private market, the private market will cease to exist.

“And so people who have good programs today will end up having a program run by government bureaucrats from Washington rather than one that emphasizes their choice and their personal selection and their healthcare.”

Martella asked: “Is there talk about a provision to deny healthcare to certain vulnerable people, most notably the elderly?”

Coburn responded: “There’s no talk about it. But . . . the ultimate result of every government-run healthcare plan around the world is rationing. Where does most of the expenses come from? From our senior citizens. Where will we make most of the cuts? Most of the cuts will come from our payments for those senior citizens.

“So you ultimately will end up with a form of rationing that will have a tremendous impact on care.”

Coburn voted against confirming former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Martella asked why.

“Two reasons,” said Coburn.

“The first is, the assumption that somebody as a career politician has the management capabilities to run an organization like HHS is just confounding to me, and probably to most other people when they stop to think about it.

“Most politicians aren’t good managers. We wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in if they were.

“The second point is her position on late-term abortion and the fact that she can’t find it in her mind that we ought to have a second opinion . . . when we’re terminating the life of a totally viable human.”

Martella asked if Coburn is disappointed in Sen. Specter for bolting the Republican Party.

“No. What people ought to ask out of this is why do people do those kinds of things,” Coburn said.

“He was very straightforward. He said I’m changing parties so I can run for re-election, so I can still be a senator.

“And that’s the disease that infects Washington. What it tells you is that ‘me being a senator is more important than the country, the policies and the principles that I’ve run my life on, and therefore I’ll do whatever’s necessary to stay here.’

“That’s the disease. That’s why I’m a term-limited senator.” [Coburn has term-limited himself.]

Martella asked Coburn if he thinks there should be more doctors and fewer lawyers in the Senate.

“I think there should be more everything and fewer lawyers,” the senator said.

“There should be more schoolteachers, more accountants, more firemen, more retired military. What we need in Congress is to go back to the idea that . . . we lose a range of experience and perspective if the only thing you’ve ever done is hold elective office.

“We’ve assumed that people in elective office can reference past experiences to make good judgments for us, and the past experiences that politicians have is how to compromise every time to make yourself look good rather than to accomplish the greatest goals for the country.”

See Video: Senator and physician Tom Coburn discusses the costs of Obama’s healthcare plans - Click Here Now

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