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Krugman calls senator’s cancer story ‘garbage’

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Chuck Ross
Reporter, Daily Caller News Foundation

New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman is questioning Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn’s claim that Obamacare caused him to lose his cancer specialist.

“It’s a garbage story, it really is,” said Krugman in a back-and-forth with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on CNN after the State of the Union on Tuesday.

Coburn, who announced earlier this month that he’ll resign from office at the end of the year as he battles his fourth bout with cancer, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that his oncologist was no longer covered under his health care plan.

“Fortunately — even though my new coverage won’t cover my specialist — I’m going to have great care, and I have a great prognosis,” said Coburn, who has been a vocal Obamacare opponent. (RELATED: Obamacare doesn’t cover senator’s cancer specialist)

Coburn is able to pay out of pocket, but the senator’s spokesman pointed out that many Americans can’t afford to do so.

Krugman, who has been a staunch supporter of Obama and Obamacare, was “acting out” on the CNN show, Coburn communications director John Hart told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“He’s experiencing an intellectual crisis due to Obamacare’s failures. A policy he supported is causing Americans to lose not only their doctors but their specialists and treatments,” Hart said.

“We wish him the best as he works through his difficult period of disappointment and disorientation.”

On Monday, Coburn, along with Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, proposed a bill to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. The trio’s plan would maintain some components of the law, such as the ban on lifetime limits on insurer payouts, but drop others, including the individual mandate.

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