News 9: Oklahoma Leaders United in Opposition to Health Care Bill

Mar 19, 2010
In The News

The last-minute push for votes in the health care bill will likely leave out any Republicans. And Oklahoma’s delegation seems to be standing firmly in the "no" column.

Tom Coburn is threatening to take his opposition even further.

After hundreds of passionate protests and turbulent town halls, Congress may finally act on a bill to overhaul health care.

3/18/2010 Related Story: Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn Threatens Democrats Wavering On Healthcare Vote

The landmark legislation would expand coverage to 30 million of the uninsured, outlaw pre-existing conditions as a way to deny coverage, and extend prescription drug benefits for seniors.

Democratic leaders are scrambling for votes to pass a key piece of President Obama’s agenda, and a Sooner Senator is putting his colleagues on notice.

"So if you think you can cut a deal now and it not come out until after the election, I want to tell you that isn’t going to happen. Be prepared to defend selling your vote in the House," Senator Tom Coburn (R) Oklahoma, said Thursday.

Oklahoma’s lone Democratic Congressman Dan Boren has already voted against healthcare reform once. He’s now criticizing his party’s tactics – using procedural rules – to push the legislation through.

3/17/2010 Related Story: Congressman Dan Boren Says ‘No’ To Health Care Plan

"We need to have transparency and frankly have an up or down vote. I’m going to be voting no. But give everyone the opportunity to vote on the underlying legislation," Boren said.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has talked about using "deem to pass," a rule which would allow lawmakers to vote on a popular bundle of changes to the Senate Bill rather than the whole bill.

"That’s where they’re heading, pass a once-in-a-generation bill full of flaws without having people directly vote on the bill; it’s just flabbergasting," said Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas.

"I think it’s a flawed law, and they’re going to put it through a flawed process and the ultimate product will be flawed as a result," Lucas said.

Related Story 3/18/2010: Oklahoma’s Frank Lucas: Flawed Process Leads To Flawed Healthcare Bill

Senator Coburn also says he will hold up nominations for members of Congress who trade their votes for promises of federal jobs should they lose their next election.

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