COBURN REACHES OUT TO THOSE HE LOATHES…. How desperate is Tom Coburn to derail health care reform? He’s willing to reach out to the LGBT community.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) penned an op-ed for the online version of the LGBT magazine The Advocate, which was posted Monday and co-authored by Christopher Barron, the chairman of GOProud, an organization for gay conservatives. […]

Coburn, who is a physician, and Barron referenced the example of rationing of certain critical AIDS treatments funded by the government as an example of why the public (or “government-run”) option currently contained in House and Senate health proposals would be detrimental.

“These bureaucratic inefficiencies and mismanagement have literally cost lives,” they wrote.

Now, Suzy Khimm notes the substantive flaws behind Coburn’s argument: “Coburn doesn’t explain, of course, how the private market or his own reforms will succeed in making expensive AIDS drugs more affordable than the current Ryan White programs, other than repeating the line that insurers shouldn’t be able to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.”

But I’m having a hard time getting over the fact that Coburn feels comfortable presenting an argument in The Advocate in the first place. Coburn isn’t just right-wing on social issues; he’s arguably the single most anti-LGBT lawmaker in Congress.

During his Senate campaign, for example, Coburn told voters, “The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power…. That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That’s a gay agenda.”

Around the same time, Coburn said “rampant lesbianism” forced schools to change their bathroom policies in southeast Oklahoma. As he explained it, school officials will “only let one girl go to the bathroom” at a time. Coburn urged voters, “Think about that issue. How is it that that’s happened to us?”

And, of course, it was Coburn’s chief of staff who recently declared that all pornography to “homosexual pornography.”

Khimm also noted that Coburn has voted against marriage equality and gay adoption, and even authored legislation “that proposed to end anonymous testing for HIV/AIDS, requiring the names of those who tested positive to be reported to public authorities.”

And now Tom Coburn wants the LGBT community to take his warnings about health care reform seriously, and take his word on what policies will “cost lives.”

I don’t understand it, either.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.