U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today after forcing the Clerk of the Senate to read the 767 page Sanders amendment which would establish a single payer, government-run health care system in the United States.
"I admire Senator Sanders for his willingness to fight for publicly what many advocate only privately -- a single payer health care system funded and controlled by bureaucrats and politicians in Washington. Every American should listen to the reading of this amendment and pay careful attention to its vote tally," Dr. Coburn said.
Dr. Coburn, a practicing physician with 25 years of experience, has introduced a health care reform bill, the Patients' Choice Act, which, unlike the Sanders amendment and the Reid bill, puts patients, not politicians, at the center of our health care system. Dr. Coburn, along with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Devin Nunes (R-CA), introduced the Patients' Choice Act in May of this year, six months before the Reid bill was introduced.
"The American people deserve to understand the competing approaches to reform in the U.S. Senate. It's unfortunate that Senator Reid waited until the last minute to introduce his bill and now wants to rush it through the Senate. This reading will provide a dose of transparency that has been lacking in this debate," Dr. Coburn said.
The office of Senator Sanders provided this summary of their amendment:
Summary: This amendment would establish a single payer health insurance system that would cover every person legally residing in the United States. The single payer system would be regulated and funded by the federal government through a payroll tax and an income tax, but it would be administered by the states. It would replace the coverage and revenue titles of the current bill, but it would leave in place most of the provisions in the quality, prevention, and workforce titles of the bill. This amendment starts from the premise that health care is a human right, and that every citizen, rich or poor, should have access to health care, just as every citizen has access to the fire department, the police, or public schools.