Sen. Coburn: I Lost My Preferred Cancer Specialist Under Obamacare

Posted: Jan 28, 2014 2:05 PM

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) recently announced that he’s going to resign his U.S. Senate seat before his term expires. But it’s not clear to what extent this decision was influenced by the fact he’s suffered a relapse of prostrate cancer. He said in a video making the announcement public that, “I am now convinced that I can best serve my own children and grandchildren by shifting my focus elsewhere.” So he will soon retire.

On Tuesday, however, he appeared on MSNBC’s morning flagship program and informed viewers that while he’s “doing well,” he’s lost his cancer specialist because of Obamacare, and thus will have to pay higher medical costs out-of-pocket as a result (via Politico).

Politico later confirmed that Coburn did indeed lose his cancer specialist:

The Oklahoma Republican’s spokesman confirmed to POLITICO that since the senator enrolled in his health insurance plan under Obamacare, his coverage has been reduced and he lost coverage for his cancer specialist. Coburn will continue to pay out of his own pocket and see the oncologist, his office said.

The Senator is obviously in very good spirits, and is confident that he will receive the kind of treatment that he needs and deserves. But while Sen. Coburn was an early and vocal critic of the “Affordable” Care Act from the beginning, he’s experiencing the same kind of rate shock so many other cancer-stricken Americans are receiving. Remember, they were promised they could keep their doctors if Obamacare became federal law. "Period." Now many cannot, of course, including the Senator himself.

Fortunately, Dr. Coburn can presumably afford to pay higher out-of-pocket costs. But not everyone, as his spokesman has said, is that lucky:

“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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