Saturday, February 27, 2010

Senator Tom Coburn Weekly Republican Address 02/27/10 VIDEO FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Senator Tom Coburn Weekly Republican Address 02/27/10 VIDEO FULL TEXT TRANSCRIPT

Remarks by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), as provided by the Republican National Committee:

Hello, I’m Dr. Tom Coburn, a practicing physician from Oklahoma and a member of the United States Senate.

This week I had the opportunity to join President Obama and my Democrat and Republican colleagues for a summit on health care. We had a respectful and constructive discussion.

While we listened to one another, I’m concerned that the majority in Congress is still not listening to the American people on the subject of health care reform. By an overwhelming margin, the American people are telling us to scrap the current bills, which will lead to a government takeover of health care, and we should start over.

Unfortunately, even before the summit took place the majority in Congress signaled its intent to reject our offers to work together. Instead they want to use procedural tricks and backroom deals to ram through a new bill that combines the worst aspects of the bills the Senate and House passed last year.

The American people have rejected the majority’s plan for good reason. Their plan includes half a trillion dollars in new tax increases, a half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare, job-killing penalties for employers, taxpayer funded abortion and new boards that will ration care to American citizens. At its core, their plan continues a government-centered approach that has...

...made health care more expensive. Federal and state governments already control 60 percent of health care. If more government spending and control was the answer we could have fixed health care long ago.

Republicans in Congress have a different vision for reform. We have put forward several proposals that lay out a common sense step-by-step path to reform. Our solutions are patient-centered, not government-centered. We believe in expanding options, not government; increasing access, not taxes; and reducing costs, not quality. Most importantly, we believe that no one has the right to step between you and your doctor.

I introduced a health care bill called the ‘Patients’ Choice Act’ last May along with Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and Representatives Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Devin Nunes of California that includes several step-by-step ideas for reform. The ‘Patients’ Choice Act’ and other Republican plans accomplish all of the President’s goals, including expanding coverage, without raising taxes, bankrupting the country or rationing care.

Our ideas address the core problem in our health care system – skyrocketing costs – by using the only force that ever lowers cost – competition and consumer choice. Health care is so expensive today because third-parties – government and insurance company bureaucrats – have stepped between you and your doctor.

Our solutions restore the doctor-patient relationship and put you – not your insurance company, your boss or the government – in charge of your health care dollars and decisions. The ‘Patients’ Choice Act,’ for instance, provides generous tax credits that let you buy, and keep, the plan of your choice. We also limit lawsuit abuse which causes doctors to order costly tests that protect themselves rather than you, the patient.

Our proposals to rein in the massive amount of fraud, waste and duplication in our health care system drew widespread praise from Democrats at the summit, including the President. One in three dollars in our more than $2 trillion health care system does not do anything to help people get well or prevent them from getting sick. Democrats and Republicans agree that eliminating waste and inefficiency would lower costs and improve access tomorrow.

The majority now has a choice. We can continue to make progress like we did at the summit. Or, they can try to ram through a partisan bill that will divide and bankrupt America.

I wholeheartedly share President Obama’s desire for more civility and bipartisanship in Washington and I’m proud of the work that we did together when he was a member of the Senate. True civility, however, is measured by actions, not words.

I was disappointed the President rejected my suggestion that he host another summit. The President himself proposed that such meetings be televised more than a year ago. Last year, dozens of Democrat-only summits were held in secret behind closed doors and produced many unsavory deals. Had those meetings been open and bipartisan, I believe Congress could have passed a bipartisan health bill months ago.

If the President and the leaders in Congress are serious about finding common ground they should continue this debate, not cut it off by rushing through a partisan bill the American people have already rejected. If the majority agrees to work together they will find many Republicans ready to help them pursue our common goals of helping all Americans access quality and affordable health care for themselves and their families.

Thank you so much for listening.


CC1959 said...

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Our President has bent over backwards for you people and you all still don't get it. We, the little people of America, need Health Reform and we need it NOW! In this great country of ours, I can't believe that I'm still walking around with no Health Coverage because I am unemployed. To all the Republicans that don't care, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. People are getting fed up and when people get fed up - watch out. That's how Hitler got in power.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we care; we want health care reform too... just not Democrat-style.

For example, the Democratic bills require individuals to buy insurance or else get a hefty penalty. Wait a moment... everybody already wants health insurance; the reason you don't have it is that you can't afford it, not that you don't want it! Requiring those who already want health insurance (but can't afford it) to buy it isn't going to fix the problem.

What will fix the problem is a solid, bipartisan bill that curbs the abuses that insurance companies are so well-known for (even non-profit insurers act like for-profit businesses!) without creating new back-breaking mandates on the middle class. Why not at least allow debate on the Coburn bill on the Senate floor?

Anonymous said...

Why haven't the Repuks ever tried to get a health bill done. There drug bill was a big give away to the Drug companys. Colburn--Just another hmo money taker.

Greg Smith said...

Who are the overwhelming public that are opposed, the only people I find that do not support major changes in our health care system are those who know nothing about what is being proposed. The non action by reps is a huge disservice to our country. In my world when you accomplish nothing you get nothing. All who are not legitimately engaged should all return last year’s salaries. What a waste of our resources.

sookietex said...

i find the fear mongering and name calling in this thread to be the most disturbing part of our problem.

"That's how Hitler got in power...Repuk...Just another hmo money taker". Do you really think this type of language will bring us closer together? If i said that to you, would you feel more sympathetic to me and mine?

Greg, see "Who are the overwhelming public that are opposed" 45% who strongly oppose the plan and just 23% who strongly favor it for the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

What would you say to passing those items we can agree on now and those things we don't agree on later?

Tort and frivolous lawsuit reform, health insurance portability, competition across state lines, computerized health records, income tax deduction on health care premiums, high risk/pre-existing pools, individuals and small business to pool for group rate discounts, etc.

i believe the list of things we can agree on is FAR longer than those things we don't, and that blame lies on BOTH sides of the aisle.

CC1959 said...

I am at my wits end right now trying figure out my government. The government I grew up in and was always taught to love. However, this feeling is fading fast and leaving me in a very sad state.

Healthcare is such an important part of our lives. It is indeed a "right" no matter what certain politicians say. That to me was such a cruel statement I heard the other day on TV not to mention heartless.

I have a son who is 23 years old. When he was 15, he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Because I had health insurance at the time and by the grace of God, my son was cured. My question is what if I didn't have health insurance at the time? Where would my beautiful son be today? I can't even think about it; can any of you?

Without Healthcare Reform, what would stop an insurance company in the future to refuse my son Health Coverage because of such a devastating pre-existing condition? My son today is studying to be a Science teacher and one day, he hopes to be a professor. This would not be possible if we didn’t have health insurance when he needed it the most.

I am attaching a link describing one of the best Healthcare System today and was wondering why we, the greatest nation in the world, can't have something like this.

I anxiously await any comments.

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