February 27th, 2010
10:39 AM ET
4 years ago

Coburn: Republicans 'have a different vision for reform'


Washington (CNN) - Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, delivers this week's Republican address. Coburn, who is also a doctor, discusses the GOP's proposals for health care reform and the need for more bipartisanship in Congress.

(Full transcript of Coburn's remarks after the jump)

Full text of Republican weekly addressed delivered by Sen. Tom Coburn, as prepared for delivery:

““Hello, I’m Dr. Tom Coburn, a practicing physician from Oklahoma and a member of the United States Senate.

“This week I had the opportunity to join President Obama and my Democrat and Republican colleagues for a summit on health care. We had a respectful and constructive discussion.

“While we listened to one another, I’m concerned that the majority in Congress is still not listening to the American people on the subject of health care reform. By an overwhelming margin, the American people are telling us to scrap the current bills, which will lead to a government takeover of health care, and we should start over.

“Unfortunately, even before the summit took place the majority in Congress signaled its intent to reject our offers to work together. Instead they want to use procedural tricks and backroom deals to ram through a new bill that combines the worst aspects of the bills the Senate and House passed last year.

“The American people have rejected the majority’s plan for good reason. Their plan includes half a trillion dollars in new tax increases, a half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare, job-killing penalties for employers, taxpayer funded abortion and new boards that will ration care to American citizens. At its core, their plan continues a government-centered approach that has made health care more expensive. Federal and state governments already control 60 percent of health care. If more government spending and control was the answer we could have fixed health care long ago.

“Republicans in Congress have a different vision for reform. We have put forward several proposals that lay out a common sense step-by-step path to reform. Our solutions are patient-centered, not government-centered. We believe in expanding options, not government; increasing access, not taxes; and reducing costs, not quality. Most importantly, we believe that no one has the right to step between you and your doctor.

“I introduced a health care bill called the ‘Patients’ Choice Act’ last May along with Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and Representatives Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Devin Nunes of California that includes several step-by-step ideas for reform. The ‘Patients’ Choice Act’ and other Republican plans accomplish all of the President’s goals, including expanding coverage, without raising taxes, bankrupting the country or rationing care.

“Our ideas address the core problem in our health care system – skyrocketing costs – by using the only force that ever lowers cost – competition and consumer choice. Health care is so expensive today because third-parties – government and insurance company bureaucrats – have stepped between you and your doctor.

“Our solutions restore the doctor-patient relationship and put you – not your insurance company, your boss or the government – in charge of your health care dollars and decisions. The ‘Patients’ Choice Act,’ for instance, provides generous tax credits that let you buy, and keep, the plan of your choice. We also limit lawsuit abuse which causes doctors to order costly tests that protect themselves rather than you, the patient.

“Our proposals to rein in the massive amount of fraud, waste and duplication in our health care system drew widespread praise from Democrats at the summit, including the President. One in three dollars in our more than $2 trillion health care system does not do anything to help people get well or prevent them from getting sick. Democrats and Republicans agree that eliminating waste and inefficiency would lower costs and improve access tomorrow.

“The majority now has a choice. We can continue to make progress like we did at the summit. Or, they can try to ram through a partisan bill that will divide and bankrupt America.

“I wholeheartedly share President Obama’s desire for more civility and bipartisanship in Washington and I’m proud of the work that we did together when he was a member of the Senate. True civility, however, is measured by actions, not words.

“I was disappointed the President rejected my suggestion that he host another summit. The President himself proposed that such meetings be televised more than a year ago. Last year, dozens of Democrat-only summits were held in secret behind closed doors and produced many unsavory deals. Had those meetings been open and bipartisan, I believe Congress could have passed a bipartisan health bill months ago.

“If the President and the leaders in Congress are serious about finding common ground they should continue this debate, not cut it off by rushing through a partisan bill the American people have already rejected. If the majority agrees to work together they will find many Republicans ready to help them pursue our common goals of helping all Americans access quality and affordable health care for themselves and their families.

“Thank you so much for listening.”


Filed under: GOP • Health care • Popular Posts • Tom Coburn
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. gr

    Emergency rooms should be able to turn patients away to cut costs, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) said last night.

    So I take it this is the Republicans HCR cut off people going to the emergnecy rooms to cut COST!

    February 27, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Viv

    Please tell me which section, page number, paragraph number, etc., of the bill where it says that abortions will be paid for through federal funds. Thank you.

    February 27, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Kayla

    You bet they do!!!! Their vision of reform consists of ways to keep their pockets lined in gold....oh, how they linger for the days of George W. Bush and his Republicans thugs. Those were the days!!!

    February 27, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Maria Mancias

    Mr. Coburn, We know that you were once a doctor but you probably cared for those with money, those that could afford to pay big bucks. Have you ever worked with the real needy and truly understand poor people and middle class peoples' needs.
    We urge you now, please work with the President Obama and make health care reform happen. Please do it now, we can't wait for you to sit and cheer for failure, we need health reform now.

    February 27, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Ellyn

    Republicasns will NEVER do anything about healthcare reform....they owe the lobbyists way too much to let anything change.

    February 27, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. JAX

    Their "vision" is nothing!

    February 27, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. gr

    It is too late Republicans, we all know what your plan is which is do nothing and let the EMERGENCEY ROOMS TURN PATIENTS AWAY!

    February 27, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. wg

    Forget the Republicans, u should have done something when u had a chance. You are responsible for the demise of this country now u have ideas, should have gotten on the job many years ago as well as the tea parties, hannity, fox news and others. I say go it alone Dems...reconciliate!

    February 27, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. Sandra

    Mr Coburn,
    Is it true that you have only doctor's best interests at heart? I say that you should drop your federal health coverage and buy your own? Also, why weren't you interested in doing anything years ago? You are such a hypocrite. I really wish that some of these poll takers would call me.

    February 27, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. gr

    “Our solutions restore the doctor-patient relationship and put you – not your insurance company, your boss or the government – in charge of your health care dollars and decisions. The ‘Patients’ Choice Act,’ for instance, provides generous tax credits that let you buy, and keep, the plan of your choice. We also limit lawsuit abuse which causes doctors to order costly tests that protect themselves rather than you, the patient.

    -------------------------------–

    This is in President Obama HCR and you liars Republicans still want President Obama to START OVER. This have been going on long enough and it is time to act NOT START OVER.

    February 27, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. gr

    Emergency rooms should be able to turn patients away to cut costs, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) said last night.

    February 27, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Yougottaloveit

    No one is willing to compromise...Republicans don't want democrats to get credit for anything that benefits the american people. Democrats have no back bone..

    February 27, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. gr

    Emergency rooms should be able to turn patients away to cut costs, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) said last night.

    The Republicans HCR PLAN is Emergencey rooms turn sick patients way and we will cut cost so need to have HCR just cut off service to the people that already don't have coverage when they go to the emergency room. The GOP have no love for the POOR!

    February 27, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. ANGIE IN PA

    Republicans had 8 years to address the Healthcare problems did they ? NO Why because they like the status quo they do not care if your uninsured they do not care if your premiums go up they do not care if you lose insurance due to pre exsisitng conditions if they did they would have addressed it when they held the majority or they would work with the democrats now it all comes down too Republicans think Healthcare is a privalage and Democrats thinks its a right!. Republicans will fund wars with our tax dollars and bailout big wall st but if you dont have health insurance oh well sucks for you!

    February 27, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. leonardofru

    Mr. Obama's vision of America is radically different than what most of us see. We must all work together to prevent his vision from becoming reality.

    If you walk the fetid streets of Havan or Caracas you can see the nightmare that awaits us if we permit him to seize total control.

    February 27, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Ann

    There's one Dr. I would never go to. He is up to his eyeballs in the C-Street scandal. Big hipocrite and just looks shady.

    February 27, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  17. j

    The Republican vision is the same as the insurance company's vision, which won't be good for the citizens of the US. PUT THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY FIRST!

    My Mom suggested that we'd be better off if we simply elected our representatives from the phone directory... I think she's right. The kind of representation we're getting from the Conservatives leaves a huge amount to be desired.

    February 27, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. sifto77

    Soon there will be no doctors–what will happen to health care then?–do we expect physicians–who have dedicated their entire lives to education –to work for free or very little compensation? Do you people have any idea what these men and women go through to practice medicine? do you realize how few people can even DO that? As a Nurse–working nights and weekends, I sometimes marvel at the dedication of doctors..their job has to be one of the hardest.....

    February 27, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. JJ

    I still don't see a specific plan from the Republicans.

    February 27, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. gary

    It sounds like t e same old plan,Don't Get Sick. The Republicans don't fool anyone. Their idea of starting over is to kill it, not to fix anything. They haven't been bipartison on anything. Why would they want to start now.

    February 27, 2010 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. Jack

    This is just 11th hour politics. Suddenly the Republicans have a plan. too little, too late. They were so obsessed with just being the NO party they never thought to get engaged in the game. Now that there is a chance there will be health care reform they want everything to stop so they can get on board. The train has left the station. When the Republicans were jazzing up those town meetings what ideas were they presenting to the audience? I'll tell you. They said, "No health care rerorm. Period." Now they have ideas? Please. This is where their obstinacy has gotten them: running to catch up.

    February 27, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  22. Maria Mancias

    Mr. Coburn, We know that you were once a doctor but you probably cared for those with money, those that could afford to pay big bucks. Have you ever worked with the real needy and truly understand poor people and middle class peoples' needs.
    We urge you now, please work with the President Obama and make health care reform happen. Please do it now, we can't wait for you to sit and cheer for failure. We need health reform now.

    February 27, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. Sgt. USMC

    I really wish the republicans would stop using the "American people" as their excuse for not wanting to cooperate.

    The "American people" spoke in 2008.

    You were there, I was there, and the millions who voted for President Obama were there.

    The MAJORITY spoke, not just the people you want to listen to.

    I know you have an argument to make to help your fellow repubs in November but I am not one the few who do not want health care reform.

    I am part of the MAJORITY.

    Please STOP using me for your political agenda. Let progress be made and step aside, if you are not going to help!

    -American

    February 27, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  24. rob

    Yes, the Republicans do have a different vision... and it stinks.

    February 27, 2010 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. barking republican ankle biters

    His vision is to say sorry and no.I wouldnt let Coburn treat my dog or cat.He IS the lowest life form on Earth.

    February 27, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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