Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican, is being hailed as both a hero and a cad after attempting to stall Senate action Wednesday on the health care bill.

Coburn has made a habit out of using Senate rules to slow down or stop legislation he thinks is fiscally detrimental to the country. In the action Wednesday, he forced the reading of a 767-page amendment that would establish a single-payer, government-run health insurance system.

His tactic caused a three-hour reading of the amendment before the amendment’s Democratic author withdrew it.

The Democrats want to portray the Republicans as being stealth obstacles to the passage of a massive health care plan. There is nothing stealthy about it.

The Republicans in the Senate and House want to slow down this massive health care legislation, and they are right. It appears all the Democratic leaders want to do is push through a bill, and they’ve given themselves an artificial deadline to do it by Christmas.

No matter what political party you support, there are a lot of questions all taxpayers should ask.

First, why should we not expect our lawmakers to have read and understand every bit of legislation that is put before them? Everyone knows this last-minute 700-plus page amendment wasn’t read by the senators before being put up for a vote.

Second, why are the Democratic leaders in such a rush to pass this legislation that they are holding late-night sessions putting irresponsible timetables on a bill that could affect one-sixth of our national economy?

Polls continue to show the majority of Americans are opposed to government-run health care. They are not in favor of many of the options being proposed.

Political agendas aside, lawmakers have an obligation to slow down and make sure they do this right. The American people realize that, so far, pushing an agenda is lawmakers’ major concern, not developing the needed improvements to health care access.

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