Retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Tuesday that his health insurance no longer covers his cancer specialist now that he is enrolled in the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
The revelation was made after the senator, who has struggled recently with prostate cancer, was asked about his health by the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“I’m doing well from a health standpoint, got great docs,” Coburn said. “Fortunately — even though my new coverage won’t cover my specialist — I’m going to have great care and I have a great prognosis.”
Coburn is also a colon cancer survivor.
A Coburn spokesman later confirmed in a statement to Politico that the senator lost his oncologist coverage after enrolling in an insurance plan under Obamacare. The Oklahoma senator will have to pay out of pocket for a specialist.
Coburn revealed in November that his prostate cancer had returned. He underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 2011. He has also battled melanoma.
Coburn announced earlier this month that he would retire from the senate when his term expired, stressing that his decision was not for health reasons.
“The Oklahoma Republican and physician has been a critic of Obamacare, unveiling on Monday a plan with two other senators to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act,” Politico reported.
The senator’s spokesman said the experience of losing coverage and being forced to pay out of pocket shows that the government’s “fix” for health care coverage is wholly insufficient and needs to be rethought.
“We hope the White House will work with us to make sure Americans who can’t afford to pay out of pocket don’t lose access to life-saving care,” spokesman John Hart said. “As Dr. Coburn’s experience shows, the American people are about to learn they’re going to lose access to not only their doctors and plans, but their specialists and treatments.”
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