A lot of people are linking to this story in The Hill about how Tom Coburn and David Vitter won’t let Democrat Sherrod Brown join their amendment that would force members of Congress to use the public option:

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) said he is trying to co-sponsor the amendment — but that Coburn and Vitter won’t let him. Coburn and Vitter are planning to offer the amendment during the Senate floor debate on healthcare reform.

“They’ve not said yes to allow me to be a co-sponsor,” Brown told The Hill on Thursday. “I’ve called their office four times. I’m proud of the public option, I think it would be great and we ought to join it and show the country how good it is. I think my interest may be more genuine than theirs, but I’d like to work with them if they’ll let me. If they just want to score partisan points, I still want to work with them.”

(UPDATE: I guess the bad publicity made Coburn and Vitter relent and make Brown a co-sponsor.)

Amusing. But Coburn submitted another amendment yesterday which was interesting, given the timing. Here’s the summary:

SA 2825. Mr. COBURN submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 3590:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:


For each new bureaucrat added to any department or agency of the Federal Government for the purpose of implementing the provisions of this Act (or any amendment made by this Act), the head of such department or agency shall ensure that the addition of such new bureaucrat is offset by a reduction of 1 existing bureaucrat at such department or agency.

This is an amendment that would fire random federal government employees. And it was submitted in the context of 15.4 million unemployed Americans, on the very day that the President convened a summit to address how to add jobs to the economy.

Of course, Tom Coburn is maybe the biggest hypocrite in the entire health care debate, a man who continues to talk about the dangers of government getting in between a patient and their doctor, when as a doctor he sterilized a woman without her consent.

The campaign grew more divisive with the emergence of details about the sterilization in 1990.

Dr. Coburn performed it during an operation to remove an ectopic pregnancy, a dangerous condition in which an embryo was growing in a fallopian tube. He removed the tube and tied off the other one, leaving the woman sterile.

The woman says she never consented to the procedure. Dr. Coburn said that he obtained oral permission for the sterilization, but that a nurse failed to obtain written consent.