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Sen. Tom Coburn's statistic adds to Obamacare confusion

Published: April 14, 2013

In recent town hall meetings, as well as in an interview with The Oklahoman's editorial board, Sen. Tom Coburn. R-Muskogee, fervently claims that health care premiums will double next year due to the Affordable Care Act, known more widely as Obamacare. If true, everyone with health insurance should be hysterical.

However, in “Troubles keep coming from federal health law” (Our Views, April 10), you reference a report from the Society of Actuaries that says due to the ACA “underlying claim costs in Oklahoma's individual health market will increase 29.3 percent by 2017,” which is four years from now. This number translates into an average annual upward movement of about 7.9 percent. Therefore, if Coburn is correct in his allegation, obviously the insurance companies are going to enjoy an enormous windfall. However if he's wrong, his unsubstantiated assertion only adds to the paranoia he claims to encounter as he holds public meetings with rightfully concerned Oklahomans.

Coburn has earned an enormous amount of trust from Oklahomans. He should use it more judiciously. By simply expressing an unfounded statistic he does nothing except add to the confusion, fear, anger and paranoia felt by his fellow citizens.

Cal Hobson, Lexington

Hobson, a Democrat, spent 28 years in the Legislature and was Senate president pro tem from 2003 to 2005.


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