August 13th, 2009
02:45 PM ET
5 years ago

Coburn: Controlling health care costs may fall to patients

Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who is also a doctor, held a town hall meeting Thursday.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who is also a doctor, held a town hall meeting Thursday.

(CNN) – Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, at a town hall meeting Thursday in Muskogee, said he predicts much of the responsibility in controlling health care costs will fall upon patients.

Coburn, one of two doctors in the Senate, is against the current draft legislation in the House.

"If you want reform for reform's sake and it doesn't control the costs, what you are going to do is cut everybody's wages in this country because any dollar that goes into health care is a dollar that doesn't go into your pocket," he said.

He also called for "a true competitive market with transparency and access for everybody," adding: "There is a disconnect between the purchase of health care and the payment of health care, whether it's Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance."


Filed under: Health care • Tom Coburn
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Barbara Independent in NY

    Sounds like typical Republican blather. They don't want reform. They want the insurance companies to be allowed to continue to gut the American people.

    August 13, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Pepou

    How much did you receive from the profit-driven insurance companies recently Senator Coburn ? Every dollar that goes into health care is a dollar that GOES into OUR pocket because Senator Coburn, we would like to have the kind of insurance you have in the Senate, which is GOVERNMENT RUN.

    August 13, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Sam Sixpack

    President Obama’s new Special Advisor for Health Policy will take care of everything.

    He says, "services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

    Furthermore, Obama’s proposed "Independent Medicare Advisory Council" will easily balance the budget. The White House proposes that, under the IMAC umbrella, President Obama will hand-pick five bureaucrats to decide what will and will not be covered by our Medicare of the future.

    And, if President Obama just appoints his Special Advisor guy to be the first Chairman of the IMAC - well, no more problem!

    You can look it up for yourself. You can start at the White House’s website!

    August 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Randolph Carter, the evil socialist Obamabot and head of the death panel

    So what is he saying? We should haggle with our doctors? Have a nice day!

    August 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  5. al in memphis

    Didn't they same the same thing about the wages of people in the financial system? I don't favor controlling how much somebody makes if they are doing a honest, hard working job. But–people's lives and quality of like is at stake and I don't think some health care officals see this as anything other that a cash cow. One cow dies off, don't worry their is a whole herd

    Pathetic.

    August 13, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. annie s

    A true competitive market? As in make sure the for-profit insurers are the only choice ? I guess if I was both a Senator and physician, I might think that the $17000 per year I pay for my husband and I to each have a $5000 deductible would be considered competitive – as it is, it's sharply impeding our ability to afford even basic necessities in life. My premiums have gone up 30% each year for the past 3 years – with 9 years to go before I'm eligible for Medicare, I suspect I will have to forgo health insurance altogether at some point. But of course, that's okay – you got yours

    August 13, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    How responsible is that? Let the patients squabble with their doctors?

    Hmmm, Coburn. Passing the buck back to the little guy. Great job.

    August 13, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. Brian

    Dr. No, eh?

    More people calling for a system without any possible idea or recommendation for how to get it. What a ripoff.

    If you don't help solve the problem, go away. Because there IS a problem with health care, and SOMETHING must be done.

    August 13, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Mississippi Mike

    What? Individuals making their own choices and spending their own money? That's so un-American! We need our wise political class to spend our money for us and tell our doctors how to treat us. Only the lawyers turned lawmakers in DC know how to spend money (and boy, do they).

    August 13, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Fortuna

    Just like every other redneck they oppose health care because it helps latinos and blacks. Obama's been keepign race out of it, but tear up some more Rosa Parks posters and see how that goes. Racist, corporate schills.

    August 13, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Lisa

    I'd like a heart valve replacement for $200 ... priceline for healthcare, good idea but jockey

    August 13, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Health Care Czar

    What i want to know is that why is it that when the republicans are in power they never do anything about health care?

    August 13, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. ANGIE IN PA

    FEAR MONGERING AGAIN Republicans are doing what they do best,They are being good little Puppets for the Lobbist,Healthcare company, their doing what their being PAID to do. FEAR MONGER!!

    August 13, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Sam

    Rethugs just learned how to use twitter, how long before they use twitter as a model for health care? We can go on MedBay and bid for it and it can tweet me if my kidney transplant was the winnign bid

    August 13, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Justin

    That's nice that Coburn has identified a problem. Did he propose anything to fix it?

    Probably not. That's because the GOP has no interest in getting reform done. Despite our obvious need for healthcare reform, they're happy to nitpick, criticize, whine and complain to try to win a political victory.

    America needs large-scale reform now. If the Republicans have good ideas, great. Let them come to the table and negotiate, not armchair quarterback from the sidelines.

    August 13, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Pete East

    Paying healthcare costs will fall to the patient's as well. Yon can't opt out (there is a tax penalty for that); you'll pay premiums based on geography including with the public option with government management, and the premiums paid on the grandfathered policys and policies accepted into the insurance exchange will be managed like the public option premiums. With regards to "care rationing". It will be rationed in a sense because the Government and the Healthcare industry do not have infinite goods & services to distribute. Someone, somewhere will have to decide who gets what and how much.

    Oh yes, and you will still have the privilige of a maximum out of pocket expense of $5,000.

    August 13, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. redleg

    Is this the same Dr. Coburn giving ob/gyn medical advice to an adulterous man?

    August 13, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. mw

    We need some peer review organizations looking at Durable Medical Equipment charges, especially in area of Respiratory Care. Medicare is paying wayyyyyyy toooooooo much for a lot of DME's.
    Not enough monitoring of charges out there. Too many politicians making decisions without a clue what they are talking about.
    I bet somehow boner gets his tanning bed charges covered by the best medical plan in America--the one caring for overpaid politicians.

    August 13, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |