[VIDEO] Right-wing Senator To Desperate Wife of Brain Patient: Gov't Is Not the Solution
We’ve known him as the champion of violent right-wingers who oppose health care. But now Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has earned a new title: most heartless member of the Senate.
At a health care town hall meeting earlier this week, Coburn was confronted by a woman who said she is struggling on her own to care for her husband, who sustained a traumatic brain injury, and was sent home from a nursing home with a feeding tube still in him, because his insurance refuses to cover the professional help he will need in order to learn to eat, drink and speak again. Pleading through her tears, the woman plaintively asked Coburn -- who opposes all forms of health-care reform -- what he will do to help her.
Coburn admonished her, saying, “The idea that the government is the solution to our problems is an inaccurate, a very inaccurate, statement.” He did say, however, that he would try to help her, “individually”, through his Senate office -- as if he was not part of the government. And he implored the audience to do more to help their neighbors -- as if the gift of a red velvet cake and a few tomatoes from the yard could restore a brain-damaged man’s ability to swallow.
Here’s the transcript. The video follows.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Senator Coburn, we need help. My husband has a traumatic brain injury, and his health insurance will not cover him to eat and drink. [SOB] And what I need to know is, are you gonna help him, where he can eat and drink? We left the nursing home, where they told us we are on our own. He left with a feeding tube. I’ve been working with him, but I’m not a speech pathologist, a professional that takes six years for a Masters’. And I’m trying to get him to eat and drink [UNINTELLIGBLE FOR THE CRYING]
SEN. COBURN: Well, I think, first of all, yeah, we’ll help. The first thing we’ll do is see what we can do individually to help you through our office. But the other thing that’s missing in this debate is us as neighbors, helping people that need our help. You know, we did [INTERRUPTED BY APPLAUSE] The idea that the government is the solution to our problems is an inaccurate, a very inaccurate, statement.
Here's the video, via CNN.