DR. NO PLAYS DR. WRONG…. The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed today from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), fresh off his stint as the Senate’s leading obstructionist. The headline reads, “The Health Bill Is Scary.” Yes, the eye-rolling can begin before one even starts reading the column itself.
“My 25 years as a practicing physician have shown me what happens when government attempts to practice medicine: Doctors respond to government coercion instead of patient cues, and patients die prematurely. Even if the public option is eliminated from the bill, these onerous rationing provisions will remain intact.”
So, we’re still stuck with the healthy-care-reform-might-kill-you argument. The progress of the discourse remains elusive.
I really was tempted to go through the entire 900-word piece, pointing out every error of fact and judgment, but it turns out the Media Matters Action Network beat me to it. MMAN concludes that Coburn “relied on GOP-approved talking points instead of anything resembling factual information.”
It really is quite remarkable how many falsehoods were packed into this one piece. Coburn lies about everything from IMAC to comparative effectiveness research to physician reimbursement rates. In one instance, one of the claims relies on the senator’s apparent illiteracy.
To borrow Sen. Franken’s assessment, it appears that Coburn isn’t particularly “familiar” with the health care reform policy at hand.
DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan responded to Coburn’s nonsense: “As a United States Senator and a medical professional, Tom Coburn should be ashamed of the blatantly false claims he offers in this op-ed. The only thing more misguided than the notion that Tom Coburn has any credibility on this issue is the Republican Party’s assumption that their attempts to kill health insurance reform will be looked upon favorably by the American people.”