Or at least gets accused of it by CNN’s Rick Sanchez and various other Obamacare proponents as they discuss a truncated video shot at one of Coburn’s town hall meetings.
Here is a transcript:
Sanchez: “… She seems critical of healthcare as it is now. She is pleading with one Republican senator who is most against reform. That’s what makes this such an interesting exchange. Here is her plea now, and his response.”
Woah-woah-waoh. Sorry to interrupt the video, but Sanchez is wrong on the facts here. Coburn has said repeatedly that healthcare reform is necessary, and he has proposed his own set of reforms, the Patients’ Choice Act. Looks like Sanchez hasn’t done his job. (He is a paid journalist, right?)
Hmm, wait a minute here. Shouldn’t Sanchez know Coburn is a strong proponent of healthcare reform? After all, he interviewed Coburn on July 23 and that was one of the things Coburn talked about. So, did Sanchez lie? I don’t know. Maybe he had simply forgotten the content of the interview. But it is a bit fishy, eh?
Back to the transcript:
[Cut to town hall video.]
Attendee: “Senator Coburn, we need help. My husband has traumatic brain injury. His health insurance will not cover him to eat and drink. And what I need to know is, are you going to help him? Where he can eat and drink? We left the nursing home, and they told us we are on our own. He left with a feeding tube. I have been working with him, but I’m not a speech pathologist, a professional that takes six years for a masters’, and I’m trying to get him to eat and drink again. [Ed: She began weeping again here and I'm not sure about this next sentence] He means so much to me.”
Coburn: “Well, I think, first of all, yeah, we’ll help. The first thing we’ll do is see what we can do individually to help you, through our office. But the other thing that’s missing in this debate is us as neighbors. Helping people that need our help. We tend to … [applause] The idea that the government is the solution to our problems is an inaccurate statement, a very inaccurate statement. Government –“
[Cut back to Sanchez.]
Sanchez: “What’s interesting about that is, that Sen Coburn just essentially said, ‘the government is not the solution,’ but then you have to ask yourself: He just told her to come and see him; isn’t he the government? By the way, after helping her, what will he do about the other 46,999,000 Americans who don’t have insurance, and the thousands upon thousands of Americans who say they do have insurance but, like her, they’re not getting coverage?”
Since Coburn is “most against reform,” he must be defending the current system in the face of this poor, suffering woman who has been so miserably failed by it, right? How can anyone with a heart do that? Pure rubbish. Sanchez’s setup is rubbish, and his final questions are rubbish.
Of course, since the town hall clip cuts Coburn off as he continues to talk about the woman’s plight, we can’t know what his full answer was. But maybe it doesn’t make all that much difference. This woman did not come to ask about how the healthcare system could be reformed. Obama’s plan wouldn’t help her; no new government plan, taking years to implement, could possibly help a woman whose husband can’t eat or drink today. She came to ask if her senator could help her now, and he said he would. There’s nothing else he could do or say.
But Sanchez blunders on. A senator meeting with a constituent to give her advice is a far cry from a byzantine bureaucracy deciding whether or not to pay her healthcare costs or render her any assistance. But, whatever. As for Sanchez’s final question, how will Coburn help the rest of the uninsured and underinsured, the answer is in the reform bill Coburn has proposed. Sanchez either should have or did know that.