A picture of Senator Tom Coburn
Thomas C.
Former Republican OK
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    Nomination of Chai Rachel Feldblum to Be a Member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    by Former Senator Tom Coburn

    Posted on 2013-12-11

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    COBURN. Madam President, I enjoyed listening to my colleague for Texas. I will just comment to him, we are just beginning to see the series of untruths about what the President and his allies have said about this bill. I practiced medicine for 25 years, I delivered over 4,000 babies, I had a broad-ranging general practice, and I was belittled on this floor for the statements that are now coming true by the very colleagues who voted for the unaffordable care act.

    Let me just outline for you four things that are going to be untrue.

    You cannot keep your insurance. Whether you like it or not, you are not going to be able to keep your insurance. You cannot keep anything. I am going to read a story in a minute about a young man who could not afford his employer-based plan but went shopping, had a vasectomy so he could qualify for his insurance because it did not have maternal coverage. They did not want more children. His wife wanted to stop working. He had a wonderful plan. He cannot do it now. Now he cannot get insurance because he cannot afford it, and he makes about $500 too much to qualify for any subsidy.

    So you cannot keep it.

    The second thing is you cannot keep your doctor. I am experiencing that right now. MD Anderson in the Senator's own State is not covered by any of the plans. I have had a recurrence of cancer. My doctors now are at MD Anderson. I cannot use them under the unaffordable care act, unless I want to go and spend $70,000 or $80,000 on my next procedure out of my own pocket. I will have to go somewhere where the care is not what I would deem it.

    The third untruth is every family is going to save $2,500. It is going to be about the opposite. Because everybody is going to be spending about $2,500 more.

    Then, finally, what I was belittled on, that the quality of care is going to go down when they said the quality of care is going to go up. Access is going to be harder, not easier.

    So when the American people really find out--the intention behind trying to fix health care was a good one. The system was broken. We do need to do things. But the untruths associated with this attempt to micromanage people's lives in a market--that was not perfect--I want to tell you, this is going to be so much worse than what we had in terms of real care and real outcomes. When it comes to individuals, most important is the relationship between the doctor and the patient. It is not just for the patient. The doctor having a relationship with the patient makes for much better judgments in terms of the quality of care they give and the insight into caring for the whole of that person. We are wrecking that. We are going to wreck that.

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