Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) on Monday sparred with former Obama advisor David Axelrod on the Affordable Care Act, arguing that the government is too “incompetent” to implement the health care law.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Coburn argued that government-run health care programs lack transparency in terms of price and quality of care and said President Barack Obama broke his promise that Americans would be able to keep their old insurance plans.
“Most people are going to keep their own plans, senator, and you know that,” Axelrod disagreed, pointing out that when Medicare was debated the similar concerns were raised.
Coburn then argued Medicare is bankrupt and riddled with fraud, which he said could have been avoided if it was run by private insurers.
“So there’s nothing wrong with the program, but let’s do it a different way,” he continued. “And what you’re seeing roll out with the Affordable Care Act is the same incompetencies that we see in large bureaucratic institutions. It’s not that the ideas are all bad in the Affordable Care Act, it’s that we’re incompetent to roll it out, and we’ve proven that today.”
The Oklahoma Republican added that his 2009 Patient’s Choice Act was a better alternative to Obamacare although it never had the chance to come to a vote.
“Every aspect that you’re seeing that’s positive in the Affordable Care Act was in that bill, except ours didn’t cost $2.6 trillion,” he said. “Ours isn’t run by the government.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.