Dr. Coburn votes against status quo

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today voted against continuing with the substandard status quo health care offered to tribal members and against the Indian Health Bill, S. 1200. 

“Today the Senate voted to ignore the extensive problems within our Indian Health Services and reauthorized the same, broken system.  Without addressing wait lines, rationing and inferior quality in our current system we are violating our trust obligations to tribal members across the country.  I will continue my efforts to reward innovation and fix the inferior health services provided some to Indian communities,” Dr. Coburn said.

Dr. Coburn did attempt to improve the bill in several ways.  The Senate unanimously accepted Coburn amendment #4032 that will give tribe members who have been the victims of rape or sexual assault the right to have the assailant tested for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.  The Senate defeated two other Coburn amendments.  Amendment #4034 that would have given tribal members greater health care choices was defeated by a vote of 28 to 67.  Amendment #4036 that would have prioritized basic medical services over program expansions was defeated by a vote of 21 to 73.