March 18th, 2010
02:27 PM ET
7 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. the dude

    opinions, comments, threats, fortune telling–all are moot at this point. they either get the votes and pass it, or they don't.–there is nothing left to be said.

    March 18, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Sgt. USMC

    (((((((Republican doctors-turned-lawmakers"))))))))

    Here's your sign.

    HCR now!

    March 18, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Debby

    I agree with the GOP Doc's. and the fact they have the right to turn down anyone if they have government health insurance vs. private. The problem with this bill you can't buy into it for another 4 years but you will be taxed on it right away. If you can afford to pay taxes on this thing you can afford to buy into a private health plan.

    March 18, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Duck Fallas

    Look at the scowels on these two miserable bastages. The cost of healthcare IS addressed, that's the whole point. More people covered DOES mean more people get care, dummie.

    Their patients must pay them in pigs and pies. They're doing their part to lower costs.

    March 18, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  5. Blanche


    March 18, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Johnson

    we can always change things if things are not going in the right direction. its not like this bill is the end of all healtcare debate. its the first step. there are always going to be changes to healtcare. if the republicans do not like some parts of it then discuss it after it is passed. but to deny coverage to 30 million people should not be the mindset of ANY true America. but i do love the picture there. Old washed up politicians looking like kids that have been scolded and told that they can't have their way. They are throwing a temper tantrum.

    March 18, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. Good grief

    Of course that's what the GOP doc would say! Here's my question: the self-proclaimed "pro-life" crowd have no problem with the tens of thousands that die each year due to NO HEALTH CARE.

    March 18, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Crazy Harry

    Did you really think that the obstructionist republicans would say anything else?

    They have no credibility with me and hopefully a majority of the American people.

    March 18, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. stop the nonsense

    If these Congressional leader that were doctors are agianst this bill what is the real reason? Is it becuase when they go back into medicla parctice they may not be able to soak the status quo for the money they have? Is it becuase they are so deep in the pockets of th einsurnace companies that they have to camapign against this bill to keep thier coffer full? Or is it them in lock-step with their party leaders who will show retribution if they don't come out agianst this bill?
    A few things are clear- no healthcare reforms- higher premiums form the insrurance carriers. No healthcare reform- pre-exsisting condition will not be covered, something almost every family will deal with at some point. No healthcare reform, you taxes will go up eventually as the population ages and we will have to pay for their care one way or another.

    March 18, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. Bob (Illinois)

    I'm still waiting for a detailed plan from the GOP. All I hear is "let the market do the regulation". It seems to me we've been trying that and it DOESN'T work.

    Please come back when you have something more than complaints to add.

    March 18, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    I have no confidence in these GOP doctors. I doubt they will even read the bill.

    March 18, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. dora

    People aren't getting access now. Lower the age for Medicare, or let me as a 50 year old pay what I'm paying in payroll deductions to buy into Medicare. See, if you let us pay into it, it doesn't raise anyone's taxes. Medicare for everyone. Lower the age to fifty-five, in five years lower it again to fifty, we keep working and our payroll deductions go to Medicare (pay as you go, sort of) , then in five years lower the age to forty-five..

    Everyone wins, well, except the Insurance CEOs.

    March 18, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. A. Smith, Oregon

    More threatens and fear mongering from the Republican Party? What is new with that?

    I find it entirely ironic that the Republican party is so deep in the pockets of Big Pharma, Big Medicine and Big Health Insurance Corporations that they have reduced themselves to entirely threatening lower services if their corporate profits are lowered.

    America's health care is about 10x more expensive than Canada's universal health care and American's are absolutely not receiving 10x better care and treatment by paying 10x more!!!

    Rx drugs are routinely 50% less in Canada, the same Rx drugs sold in America for 2x the price are absolutely not 2x stronger nor better than the SAME Rx drug manufacturer by the SAME Big Pharma corporation in Canada.

    The Republican party has lost all creditability in America. Yes the sky is falling neo-con's it is falling on the failed Republican Party.

    March 18, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. ray

    Don't listen to those GOP Doctors. I believe it's good for 33 million Americans without health insurance now.

    March 18, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. Keepin It Real

    Lies, Lies and more LIES! I'm not listening..............

    March 18, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Scott

    Republicans are puppets for big money! They have been in the pocket of big business, wall street and special interests for over 50 years. Their biggest goal in life as Senators is to please their masters and walk in lock step with the Republican party. If they waiver, they lose their jobs. When was the last thing the Republicans did for the average citizen in the last 50 years? Never! Ever! They tell us you have to take care of big money and big business then it trickles down to the average citizen. No No No No No. After fifty years look at the Republican track record on the economy. The wage earner has flat lined with no increases, while the CEO and big business/ big money has increased by 800%. Where is the trickle down in that. I think we need the Robin Hood Theory here in the USA .... rob from the rich and give to the poor.

    March 18, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. Liz

    Thank you, Dr. Coburn and Dr. Barasso for expressing what the doctors know but the Democrats don't want the American people to know about this health care bill. The word "disconnect" when referring to Pelosi and Obama is an understatement. If they wanted to be in charge with what is best for the health of the country, they should have become a nurse or doctor first. Then, perhaps we could respect what they say. Ironically, they are the most unhealthy and unfit of us all. Thank you again for continuing to speak out against this bill.

    March 18, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  18. wwf

    God give me a break. I have seen people look better when dealing with the death of a family member. I am glad the only the GOP can save America. They have been making that point for the last year. Is this bill the best it can be? Nope. However, it is better than nothing. Which is exacxtly what the GOP wants. It the GOP wants to own it all, then offer the Amercian people the exact same insurance that those in congress get and for the same price and this bill now present would go down in flames. Anyone with any brains know that that is not going to happen. Those in Washington (both parties) want it all and throw a few crumbs to keep the masses happy. Sort of like free grain in ancient Rome.

    March 18, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. get real

    Thank goodness none of these fools are still practicing medicine. They apparently don't realize that most people don't seek preventative care because they don't have insurance that covers regular office visits, tests and immunizations. More people with decent coverage equals more people getting preventative care.

    March 18, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    They should be ashamed of themselves. They're doctors. And they've been lying to us for nearly a year now, trying to scare the voters into putting them back into power. That's all that matters to these guys – power.

    I'd like to know why, if they hate government so much, they want so badly to be in control of it . And to try to scare us into voting for them, no less. It doesn't make sense. They'll take the government salary, benefits, and retirement package, and bash it at the same time. Seems silly. Nice to know our taxes are going to something so useful.

    March 18, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Gregg

    And the Republican alternative solution: let the market decide. Never mind that the market decided for the last 100 years and got us in the mess we're in today.

    March 18, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. therealslimshady

    The disease is health care costs too much." Duh !!!
    And whats your plan sir ?

    March 18, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Chas

    Another day, another story, another "Let's start over". La La La same ole' do-nothin' Republicans – nothing positive, nothing for the American people and just a lot of nothing.

    March 18, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Charlie in Maine

    Doesn't your Hypocratic oath sya "do no harm? I think I see a conflict of interest because your "No's" are doing plenty of harm. My Dr. thinks more like Howard Dean.... thank God.

    March 18, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. wwf

    One thing I have learned in my 59 years. Never underestimate stupid people in large groups. I think that says it all.

    March 18, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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