March 18th, 2010
02:27 PM ET
3 years ago

GOP docs: Dem health care bill will decrease quality and access

Sens. Barasso, left, and Coburn led a group of Republican doctors who spoke out against the Democratic health care reform bill Thursday.
Sens. Barasso, left, and Coburn led a group of Republican doctors who spoke out against the Democratic health care reform bill Thursday.

Washington (CNN) – A group of Republican doctors-turned-lawmakers charged Thursday that the Democratic health care bill will decrease quality of care and access to doctors without lowering health care costs.

"It doesn't address the real symptoms of the disease," Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, said during a Capitol Hill news conference. "The disease is health care costs too much." Coburn is a family physician and OB/GYN.

The GOP doctors repeatedly pointed to their own experience treating patients, and predicted that the Democratic bill will not expand care.

Related: Paging Dr. Christensen

"The president continues to talk about making sure more people are covered but that doesn't mean more people will get care," Sen. John Barasso, R-Wyoming, said. "And there's a fundamental disconnect when [Obama] says he's going to solve this by putting 15 million more people on Medicaid," said the orthopedic surgeon.

The Republican physicians also referred to a recent New York Times report about the challenges facing the Medicaid program and argued that expanding enrollment in the federal program was not the cure to the country's rising health care costs and tens of millions of uninsured.

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Filed under: GOP • Health care
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Andy

    Yeh I know brilliant liberals,these are GOP Drs.When has the government ever taken over anything and met cost and had improvement also.NEVER EVER in my 60 years EVER.NObama is a lying wanna be dictator with an egotistical power drive.

    March 18, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. TCM

    While CNN likes to label these docs GOP or republicans, they're (CNN) is missing the point; what the doctors are saying is absolutely true; we will sacrifice quality and availability of care by flooding the system while doctors exit the system. We'll end up with 3rd world medical clinics, staffed by substandard doctors....all for Hope and Change...again, this is another example of the Obama administration destroying this country.

    March 18, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. robert l gray

    same old republican hate messages about anything good for the country

    March 18, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. FactCheck

    The last GOP doctor that had anything to say (Bill Frist) got on the Senate floor and diagnosed Terry Schiavo as being non-vegetative by looking at television pictures of her. After her autopsy proved otherwise, Frist recanted everything and said that "it wasn't an official diagnosis". I believe these clowns and much as I believe Cheney when he said that Iraq had WMDs.

    March 18, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Tram

    Given how the GOP are flat-out liars, why would anyone believe this?

    March 18, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. JA/TN

    what is the solution

    March 18, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  7. Jake

    The lazy and worthless want another free hand out,why not,does not cost them,hey vote for the dumocrap welfare give away freebies party and hate the wealthly that pay your worthless parasites bills.The Dumocrap party,the party of parasites on society and welfare queens.The party of entitlements and give away.

    March 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  8. Alvin

    OK, docs, so what's your alternative besides "No!"?

    March 18, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Your Grandma

    These old rich white guys w/ govt insurance sure do hate the poor and unfortunate. They aren't Christians. I am sorry for their souls.

    March 18, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  10. Marc

    OK, let's (for the sake of the argumentation) pretend that they are right, the CBO is wrong, that they don't have any special interest that may or may not influence their opinions... OK?
    Then if the diagnosis is correct, what is the threatment dear doctors?
    Any option of one or opinion about one?
    No?
    Thought so...

    March 18, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Jesus(the Zombie version)

    Mr. Coburn is RIGHT: I would rather 18,000 people continue to die every year than to have to wait for my doctor two hours longer.

    MY TIME is worth more than 18,000 souls.

    This is America, the only time we care about human suffering and death is ONLY when it's caused by another country.

    FACT.

    March 18, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Got a family of 4? The Democrats want to borrow $14,000 on your behalf to fund this health insurance bureaucracy. Still think it's a good idea? I didn't think so.

    March 18, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. lolo

    The GOP is just full of it. What they mean to say is their pockets will be empty.

    March 18, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. al in memphis

    The quality of health care will decrease because ............................. (I said something that even I don't understand)..

    Look, is the medical equipment going to get worst, maybe the medicine is going to get worst, alright they will lower the qualifications for doctors and nurse to make it worst, well if none of that is the case–then how is health care going to get worst.

    Why is there a major issue with tackling high medical cost and making it more available. Health care has to work for the people and not just for the insurance industry.

    March 18, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  15. Patricia Dickson

    oh the Gop is a party of no no but they didn't say no to bush when he was taken the country to war they full of crap give me a break they all come out like a bunch off demons and look like they just bathe in lime juice oh please may God help us.

    March 18, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. johnrj08

    Perhaps, if any of these clowns hadn't blocked the public option, we'd have a powerful tool to push health care prices down. But their obstructionism has made that impossible. Now, they're blocking regulation of the banking industry. All of their corporate debts are being called in.

    March 18, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Laverne

    There faces says it all, they no Health Reform is on its way and aint nothing they can do about!

    March 18, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  18. Brendan

    This is the only GOP response? Ignore the Congressional Budget Office's report and float a bunch of scary hypotheticals? They're out of ammunition.

    I guess they have to say something. Still, it's diasppointing to watch them oppose a relatively good bill just for the benefit of opposing the President and the Democrats. It's all political theater for the GOP. Every issue is yet another chance to score political points.

    A part of me hopes that they do make some major gains in November... just to see what exactly they'll do, aside from saying "NO."

    March 18, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Cindy

    Fear, fear, fear, ad nauseum.

    March 18, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. MsDp

    Truth: Passing the health care reform will only decrease the contribution that these fat cats will receive.

    March 18, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Ken in NC

    These Doctors turned Republican politician because they could not make it as doctors are now saying the health care bill would decrease quality and access. You should see what the Republican plan would do. The Republican Wellness Plan for the uninsured is to "GET SICK AND DIE.......QUICKLY". That would reduce illnesses in this country.

    March 18, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Paul H

    This is Tyranny: the word "tyrant" carries connotations of a harsh and cruel ruler who places his or her own interests or the interests of a small oligarchy over the best interests of the general population, which the tyrant governs or controls. These guys are going to force this Health care bill down our throats! If they do this and we allow it do you really think they will stop there? Do you really think that they won't want to push the Cap and Trade through the same way? And why stop there even!? Why not go after some of our freedoms of speech, or take away our freedoms of religion.
    If they can't pass a bill on an up, or down vote maybe somethings wrong with the bill. Wake up America this is not how it's supposed to be.

    March 18, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. DAR

    Passage of this bill is a literal matter of life and death. When it is passed, it will save lives. If the Republicans have their way, many Americans will be killed by the GOP and Conservatives gross negligence. Look up "gross negligence" in a legal dictionary, you will see the faces of these two doctors who not only violated their oath of office, they violated their Hippocratic oath.

    Hippocratic Oath: Modern Version

    "I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

    I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

    I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

    I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

    I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

    I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

    I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

    I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

    If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help."

    Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.

    March 18, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. obamacrat

    The time to talk is over

    March 18, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  25. ATL Guy

    These Republicans are getting more and more desperate as the likelihood of the bill passing increases. What the Republicans fear most is having to explain – in a few months and years to come – why they chose to support the insurance companies over the American people that lost their insurance when they lost their jobs. Or why they didn't support insurance for kids with pre-existing conditions or for keeping kids on their parents policy while they're in college or starting their first job. The Republicans would prefer to hang the failure plank around the necks of the Democrats and have them explain why the bill failed rather than having to explain why they (Republicans) failed to support the legislation. Pretty soon they're going to invoke God, etc. At this point we've heard all the arguments for and against – now people need to vote for the bill and show where they stand on the issue. My strong guess is that if the Democrats get the bill out of the House, the reconciliation measure will get some Republican votes in the Senate. The entire goal is to kill it before it gets to that stage of the game. The Republicans thought this bill would've been dead by now with all the hoops they made the Democrats jump through but it's like the ghost that never dies and it will come back to hurt and haunt the Republicans in the long run.

    March 18, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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