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Public Statements

Dr. Coburn Votes to Protect Choices and Coverage for Medicare Patients

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Dr. Coburn Votes to Protect Choices and Coverage for Medicare Patients

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK), a practicing physician who has treated Medicare patients, released the following statement today after voting against, H.R. 6331, a sham Medicare bill allegedly designed to fix physician reimbursement rates.

"As a practicing physician, I'm disappointed Senate leaders held millions of doctors and patients hostage so they could wage an ideological crusade against individual choice in health care. The bill the Senate passed will cause nearly 2.3 million seniors to lose their coverage under the successful Medicare Advantage program. At the same time, Congress' failure to fix well-known dysfunctions in Medicare will cause seniors' fees to increase by more than $200 million," Dr. Coburn said.

"Congress was forced to act on this ‘doctor fix' precisely because Washington's attempts to micromanage health care are failing. Until Congress fixes Medicare and stops staging phony crises that require band-aid solutions, doctors will continue to leave the profession and refuse to even treat Medicare patients. Unless Congress plans on creating a compulsory physician draft, members of Congress need to rally around common sense market-based solutions that work in every other area of life," Dr. Coburn said in reference to his comprehensive health care reform bill, S. 1019. Click here for more information

"Unfortunately, today's vote showed that the Senate's vision of health care reform is to apply Medicare's dysfunctions and broken reimbursement system to our entire health care system. Politicians can score short-term political points by demagoguing ‘HMO's' or other boogeyman but they will never admit that in a government-run health care system career politicians themselves will effectively take over health care and ration care as they see fit. My solution is to give every American a generous tax credit that will allow them to shop for their own coverage and choose their own doctor. This, I believe, is the only way to avoid the transition to a Soviet-style, single-payer health care system in America. As P.J. O'Rourke accurately notes, ‘If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free,'" Dr Coburn said.

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