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. mo

    GOP, please don't jump to conclusion. Wait and see if it improve and expand. You guys did nothings last decade. So let the democrates do it for us.

    March 18, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Justin

    I stopped reading right after "A group of Republican doctors-turned-lawmakers".... you may as well have said "the foxes that want to run hen-house security"

    March 18, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. jbakaregit

    GOP, more of you will be voted out in November. After a century of trying the United States by way of the Democrats will finally make healthcare a right, affordable, and nearly universal. You have tried everything to block this and you have failed.

    Next up, immigration reform (say goodbye to the Latinos still in your camp GOP), Wall Street reform, more jobs bills, and the continued pull out of Iraq.

    March 18, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Gary's Opinion

    This bill will make the quality of care worse, cause a worsened shortage of doctors and will cost more money – – maybe push us into bankruptcy. If we can't balance our budget now and we can't cover the expenses of social security or medicaid over the next 10 years then how can we possibly add a new entitlement program or new large expensive program. THIS DEMOCRAT BILL IS INSANE.

    I am one independent registered voter (and healhcare worker) who likely will be voting based on congresses votes on this bill

    March 18, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. Justin

    Fine, GOP. So what are your solutions?

    [crickets ...]

    March 18, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Bob in Pa.

    The Dems pushing this thing are not interested in our health care. They simply want the money that the insurance companies are currently collecting in premiums so they can fund all their little programs.

    Don't even give the aurument that they don't want to do this. Obama has said on many occasions that he wants a single payer solution where the government runs the whole show. He has even stated that it would be a gradual takover. If we let these lunatics get away with this, in a few short years the Gov't will be the only game in town and they will set the prices. We will not have an option to choose another provider, lessor or better plan.

    March 18, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. eolufemi

    I guess with the CBO debunking their lies about the cost, it's time to fall back on a new talking point. Republicans are sick.

    March 18, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  8. Kentucky, send a message to your senators. VOTE THEM OUT

    Oh shut it. If it ain't one thing, it's another with you GOP. You'd rather help insurance companies than help us Americans.

    March 18, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  9. Michelle

    Wrong. If you put more people into Medicare, more people are PAYING into Medicare, thus premiums will go down. It is the same reason single payer, which Republicans have managed to demonize, is the best answer.
    It would have been nice to hear legitimate, responsible concerns at any point from the right, but they are so determined to block any attempt at reform, they are responsible now for this bill and its weaknesses. The CBO gave it a good review today, and that will push it over the top. So Republicans can whine all they want, but they brought this upon themselves by refusing to help with the bill, and by clutching at Palin's lies about death panels to try to stop it. Too bad, guys...you lose again.

    March 18, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. AndyBlue

    Aww, Republicans look so unhappy......

    March 18, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  11. Jim in San Mateo

    It's all about the money isn't it? There won't be enough money and so we won't have doctors to treat all the new people who will FINALLY have access to health care. Typically republican.

    March 18, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. Stacie

    Here is all the GOP has: BOOO something bad may happen to you in the future. Sorry, dudes, that's not working. The CBO released the great numbers, the AMA supports the bill, and the catholic nuns even endorse this health care reform bill. I make it a rule to always stick with the nuns.

    March 18, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  13. Pragmatic

    The republican doctors are not practicing medicine – they are practicing politics .... worse... republican politics.

    Remember Doctor Bill Frist? Diagnosed Terri Schivo via video tape – pontificating that she was not brain dead. The autopsy showed that most of this poor woman's brain was actually gone. So much for a "professional" opinion.

    March 18, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. brad

    And the GOP plan will, oh yea... no GOP plan...

    March 18, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. emmett brown

    It looks like the 30 million people without insurance now have decreased quality and access right now.......These guys look pretty health......

    March 18, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Liberal Jerk

    They are repubicans first, doctors second and human beings last.

    March 18, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Florida Joe

    SSOOOO Why didn't you Repubs come up with a plan that did address the issues you wanted?...NO much easier to sit back and say that won't work, that won't work, that won't work, that won't work,

    Your time is up you offered nothing but obstructionism, you had 8 years of BUSH and did NOTHING about these healthcare problems......Just shut up and get out of the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 18, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. cjr

    the teabagger party is having a temper tantrum – tra-lah

    March 18, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  19. Randy in PA

    I guess they couldn't make it as doctors.

    If they are so knowledgeable, why don't they offer a solution.

    March 18, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. Ryan

    The GOP is LYING – flat out.

    Call them out on it because NOTHING they have stated is based on facts from reliable sources.

    The Bill needs to be passed, it's better than anything we currently have and the bill still needs improvement but they are stalling it with this "start over" nonsense so that they can drag it out until November with nothing passed, blame the democrats for doing nothing and hope to win elections in November.

    However if the bill passes, then the democrats will achieve what they were voted in to take care of in the first place which will only highlight how ineffective the GOP really is in both stopping a bill as well as not producing an alternative.

    If the bill passes and succeeds like Obama's bailout bill did last March – it will only mean more egg on their face.

    The last big Bill Obama passed turned the stock market around from the 7000 it was when Bush left office to 10760.

    The bill after that – the CARD act has finally put in protections for consumers from unethical practices from big banks and credit card companies.

    SO really, if you're against Obama – and for the GOP... you absolutely need your head checked. Like him or not, this President is changing the nation for the better.

    Unfortunately, we aren't without our racist rednecks screaming it's socialism.

    Here's a clue though – If this were socialism... our citizens death rates would be half of what they are and closer to reasonable like in Britain or France. Nobody in Europe or Canada is jealous of our current healthcare system. Not in the slightest.

    March 18, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Jon

    Doing nothing, which Republicans favor, is not an option. The GOP says they agree that health care costs too much and is an untenable system as it stands, but they have no real interest in changing the system.

    March 18, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  22. Amar

    Maybe there's a reason they're not doctors anymore.

    March 18, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  23. Robert

    Oh Please!!!! They may be doctors but they are still Republicans – and they are playing politics with this. That is all.

    Surely Americans aren't so guillable as to believe, in this supercharged partisan times (and with a Republican party whose only purpose is to bring Obama down), that there is any truth to this....

    Every medical organization has backed these reforms...

    Shut up already Coburn...

    March 18, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. waltinAZ

    This argument is ludicrous! First of all, these doctors are spending their primary time legislating on Capitol Hill, so they have no credibility on the subject. A significant portion of the American population does not believe in seeking medical treatment unless they are sick, and I do not believe those numbers will change. Furthermore, We The People should have been able to buy into the exact same kind of healthcare that our esteemed Senators and Congresspersons get, but that was nixed early on–and that was not President Obama's fault. As a person who has no less than 2 health care appointments per week and has received care through Mayo Clinic but was forced to go to rookie, inexperienced, indifferent, and some just plain bad practitioners and facilities for the last 6+ years due to the expiration of my COBRA benefits, I personally believe it will raise the quality of healthcare. People are creatures of habit. Those people who go to clinics for preventive and regular care will continue to do so, and, hopefully, some of the newly insured will begin doing the same (i.e., getting yearly physicals, routine mammograms, prostrate screenings, etc.). Many who are currently uninsured will only go seek care if face with an emergency situation. HR is not going to cause the American healthcare system to implode. In fact, I fully expect that this HR overhaul will improve care because it will force the "scrub" doctor and clinics to raise their level of quality in caring for patients because they will have competition from the best doctors and facilities. Walt, Phoenix, AZ

    March 18, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Sandra, Atl

    So, Mr. GOP docs, why have you never tried to address these issues if you don't like what is proposed? All you want is medical malpractice reforms. I don't mind that, but only is the medical field is willing to get rid of their own bad doctors instead of what you do now....turn the other way until you absolutely cannot avoid getting rid of a bad doctor.

    You complain, but you seem to have NEVER wanted to do anything on your own except the above. Self-interest maybe????
    Just sayin'!

    March 18, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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