- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sen. Harry Reid gave a somewhat bland response to fellow Sen. Tom Coburn, a cancer patient who expressed concern with the lack of options that Obamacare provides for the cancer-ridden: Big deal.

“Dr. Coburn is very good at getting into the weeds and trying to find something that he thinks makes sense, but I think we need to look at the overall context of this bill,” Mr. Reid said, during a Senate press briefing on Tuesday, as reported by The Blaze.

Mr. Reid went on, in the report: Obamacare “really brings a lot of people in from the cold so that they have the ability to get health insurance, which they’ve never had the opportunity [to do] before.”

The Senate minority leader also pointed to the White House’s recently released claim that 7 million have signed up for the federal health care program, touting the figure as a sign of success. But Mr. Coburn cast suspicious eyes on the number.

“You had 6 million who lost their insurance — how many net new people got covered? How many who lost their insurance don’t have insurance today? And is it affordable? The ones that lost their insurance now have [Obamacare] and we don’t know what that number is,” Mr. Coburn said, The Blaze reported. “I guarantee you three-quarters of them are paying a significantly higher cost, have a higher co-pay and a higher deductible.”

Mr. Coburn, who’s suffering from cancer and due to retire at the end of his term, also pointed to the realities of Obamacare for those with serious illnesses.

“Nineteen of the cancer centers in this country,” he said, in the Washington Examiner, “[and] only five are covered under Obamacare. You know, it’s a market and what [the feds] have done is they’ve priced it where these cancer centers, a lot of them, aren’t going to participate because they don’t get paid to cover the costs.”

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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