Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) battled former top Obama strategist David Axelrod Monday over whether the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare online exchanges speaks to bigger issues with the health care law.
Coburn's main argument? The government is too incompetent to handle such a massive project, and the Obamacare site has proven that.
“What you’re seeing roll out with the Affordable Care Act is the same incompetencies we see in large bureaucratic institutions,” Coburn said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe. “It’s not that the ideas are all bad in the Affordable Care Act. It’s we’re incompetent to roll it out and we’ve proven that today.”
Axelrod, of course, was of the opinion that Obamacare is great and that the ongoing issues with healthcare.gov are not indicative of problems with the law. He also pointed to other government-run health care programs that were met with similar pushback.
“Nobody is suggesting that we should disband Medicare,” Axelrod said, “although we heard many of the same complaints about Medicare back in the day when Medicare was being implemented.”
“Medicare is bankrupt,” Coburn retorted. “Twenty percent of everything that’s spent in Medicare is defrauded from the government. Over $80 billion a year is defrauded. How is that running for us? I’m not against Medicare but how about have it run in a way—private insurance fraud rate is less than 2 percent. We’re 10 times greater because we don’t know how to do it, we don’t function effectively when the government does it.”
Coburn also challenged the claim that Republicans have offered no alternative to President Barack Obama’s health care law.
“Go read about Patient’s Choice Act,” Coburn said. “Senator Burr, myself and about 20 other Republican senators. Every aspect you’re seeing that’s positive in the Affordable Care Act was in that bill, except ours doesn’t cost $2.6 trillion. Ours isn’t run by the government. Ours is run by the private-sector, with transparency, and mandates that you have to be transparent.”
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