So rarely do I find myself agreeing with anything Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has to say (actually, I don’t think it’s ever happened) that I feel compelled to recognize a gesture of his with which I feel in complete agreement.
Coburn likes to play the spoiler and I believe that was the impetus behind his introducing an amendment to the health care reform legislation now being debated in the Senate. What his amendment said was that senators would have to be covered by any public option plan that ended up in the bill.
As someone who is dead-set against any public option, Coburn surely meant this as a way of sticking it to his fellow senators (across the aisle, naturally) who are strongly in favor of a public option being included in the bill.
Senators are now covered, in the words of the New York Times, by “gold-plated coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.” In other words, really good coverage that Coburn probably knows many of his fellow senators would be reluctant to give up.
So perhaps even he was surprised when some Democrats not only supported his amendment but volunteered to co-sponsor it. One particularly enthusiastic backer of this amendment was, the Times noted, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.