February 27th, 2010
10:39 AM ET
5 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. Donkey Party

    I hope all Right-wingers die. It's the only way our country will ever move forward.

    February 27, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. JLM

    No ideas for pre exsisting illness, no ideas on insuring more Americans, their vision sucks

    February 27, 2010 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. joel palmer

    Quite a different vision of reform; back to the 1800s with corporations and the rich being the chief benficiaries.

    The GOP has shown their tru colors pure obstructionism and no concern for Americans except the wealthy.

    Bunning's blockage of the jobs bill yesterday was but the latest in a string of NOs by the gop.

    A pox on them all

    February 27, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Former Republican, now an Independent

    I'm sure this doctor has his own vision of reform. Insurance companies are only 50% of the problem. The other half are doctors who want $170 – $200 dollars for 5 minutes of their time. I wish I could make over $2000 per hour.

    February 27, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. james l williams

    eight years in office the republicans never even considered considered a health care bill. then along comes the democrats with a majority in both houses and after a year can not come up with a health care bill. i thank the people should force congress to put terms limits on congress and get rid of the intrenched politicians.

    February 27, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Chuck

    What the Republican's are offering is not reform. Buying across state lines the way they want is an deceptive of bypassing state regulations (deregulating the industry) and will cause states to compete with who can have the least regulations. And this is what they call an incremental approach. They will be taking what little protection was have against these wolves away and present it as a "common sense" solution to the industries current practice of canceling you when you get sick and raising rates far faster that the level of inflation.

    February 27, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. Nothing but a stunt

    The President's much hyped and televised summit on Health Care was nothing but a stunt. They came on TV to pretend that they were going to listen, only to show Americans that they have no such plan to listen. They have already decided not to listen to Americans, they will move forward with their plans, forcing them upon Americans. It is in effect Taxation without Representation.

    February 27, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Mayo

    blah blah blah... pass the reform bill that favors the people...he left out corporate america they benefit from. Its democracy..51 reconciliation can be done.... and by the way where have you been all these years if you are doctor and not championed the cause. On to the next one

    February 27, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. CareFree

    Sounds like a Putz!. How does he know what the majority of the American people want, when the majority voted for "change" in the last national election, and he has not been in touch with them? Sounds like he's just repeating something he has heard & suits his perception, or what he wants to hear. As for me, it does embarass me and should embarass all Americans that we are the only industrialized nation in the world that does not take care of our citizens' health needs. We cannot go on like this. Where do the "start-over" people want to start? Seventy years ago, when these needs just came to light? Sounds very REgressive to me! Jesus said, "Those that care for the least of these, also care for Me and my Father that is in Heaven."

    February 27, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. Jerry in Ohio

    Democrats can only be expected to bend over backwards so far for the Republicans. When are people gonna wake up and realize, the Republicans only goal right now is to see Obama fail. Even if it would help Americans, they don't want anything Obama does to work. If he fails they can say "See, told you so. Vote for me!"

    February 27, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. Four and The Door

    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.
    ______________________________________________________
    President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid are not at all interested in a bipartisan health care solution. They are protecting their back-room deals by ramming through the original unsavory bill. The American people are disappointed by their greedy behavior and priority on politics rather than creating a bill that is good for all Americans.

    February 27, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. Andy

    Make it simple GOP,JUST SAY NO to the dumocraps/NObama,we do not need what they want to sale.And Yes I want NObama to fail along with his power hungry socialist agenda.Send him and the Dems home.They have met their WATERLOO and it is us,the GOP.

    February 27, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  13. Janice

    Let them try reconciliation,they will fail @ that also.The party of NO-the dems NO jobs NO plan NO accountability NO hope NO change-NOTHING but hot air/smoke/spin/and failure.Send them packing .

    February 27, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Dave T

    It's been a year and Republicans have done nothing to advance healthcare reform except obstruct and delay. Senate Republicans stated goal is to bring our "uppity" black President to his Waterloo. The time has come for the right wing nuts to get out of the way and let the adult minded fix this mess.

    February 27, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. MANK

    Still with the Democrat Party? How difficult is it to learn the names of the 2 political parties in the US?

    February 27, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. How To Tell A Dem Is Lying-Lips Are Moving

    The party with a vision the GOP-LONG LIVE THE GOP.The true party of the American people.

    February 27, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. Larry

    The only visions Republicans have, is one of Sugar Plums dancing in their heads

    The Republicans want to kill any health reform, only to protect their Insurance and big business buddies, and to line their own pockets with gold

    As well the treasonous Republicans will do anything they can to try to destroy our president's efforts to make this country a better place

    They don't deserve the positions that they have been elected to fill ... period!

    February 27, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  18. jbakaregit

    Yeah Mr. Coburn. America saw (despite CNN's attempt at censorship of Dems everytime they spoke) what the GOP's health plan is all about. You remember Mr. Grayson short & succinct call-out: Don't get sick! If you get sick, die quickly!

    Mr. Coburn, move out the way and watch Dems pass HCR. You can call it government take-over, socialism, marxism, left-wing/lib//liberal/tax-&-spend, communist, etc. all you want. If the GOP wanted true healthcare reform, they would have done it when Bush was in office. All America heard then was war over here, tax cuts for the rich over there.

    Later Mr. Coburn.

    February 27, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Perusing-through

    TOM COBURN IS A FAKE AND A HYPOCRITE

    I watched President Obama's Summit with an open mind. It was clear to any unbiased and Independent voter that the Republicans had NO reasonable solution to help 40-million hardworking middle-class folks to secure decent quality health coverage. GOP proposals covered only a tiny fraction at best.

    The problem for Republicans is their political philosophy. GOP philosophy is that health coverage is a privilege for the rich, and for Congressmen & Senators in the U.S. Legislature. Not for hardworking tax-paying middle-class Americans.

    February 27, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. If I was crazy, I'd be a conservative too

    Health reform passed the senate with 60 votes already. The majority of elected officials in both houses have passed reform. For you right wingnuts, that is the way America works. The republicans stood on the side lines and have lied about death panels, socialism, and government takeovers in order to make this Obama's "Waterloo." Conservatives have once again stood up for the health insurance industry over the American people. When the president signs the final bill next month, people will begin to see through the efforts of Fox and the lying GOP.

    February 27, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Ender

    The Dems could bring an exact copy of the republican bill to the floor for a vote and the republicans would vote against it.

    February 27, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. SC Ex-Pub

    Tom,
    You had eight years, why didn't you do something? Why wait until Obama tries something to trot out your saving remedy?

    February 27, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Steve

    Another lying Republican hypocrite... Where have you been? Proposals for healthcare? NOT! Where were they when you had power? Bipartisanship? NOT! Didn't exist when you were in power! The Repubs obviously don't give a crap about anybody that doesn't fit the country club mold, but they sure know how to divide and conquer... They should be embarrassed, but it take scruples to be shamed... Sad, really...

    February 27, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Nick San Diego

    All the Republicans have done is No to everything. They think that their tactics along with the disgruntled voter will give them some seats in November.
    People want things DONE.
    The open minded voter can see thru this and the Minority Party may just remain in the minority

    February 27, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Larry

    Do these obstructionist Republicans really believe their own BS???

    They have made ZERO efforts to be part of this process, and now their again trying to drag the effort out to stall it, as well again crying about not being listened to

    What a bunch of losers

    GET A REAL JOB YOU BUMS!

    February 27, 2010 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
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