Sen. Tom Coburn has had a health care reform bill on the table for more than a month now, and it’s time for this country to get serious about health care reform.

Even though adequate care for all Americans is a major issue, it still does not receive the attention it should because of other pressing issues — the war in Iraq, terrorism, and recent disasters and subsequent issues over emergency relief. Then add to that, the inertia inherent in a huge, complex system involving hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses, health care corporations, the insurance industry and government oversight and bureaucracy, so that enacting change everyone can agree on becomes difficult, if not impossible.

But as many have said and Coburn points out, the system is broken and needs revamping. Some are calling for a national health insurance plan, but we think Coburn is on the right track, and his proposal — the Universal Health Care Choice and Access Act — is the place to begin.

Coburn contends that the free market system hasn’t been allowed to work in health care. The current system is supported by an unfair tax code and people have little choice chiefly because most people’s health insurance is determined by their employers.

Coburn’s proposal states, “Subsidizing health insurance instead of health care has resulted in a third-party payer system that has compromised patients’ control over their own health care decisions. It also contributes to skyrocketing premiums and lack of choice.”

Instead, Coburn proposes tax rebates that allow individuals to purchase their own insurance, rather than corporations choosing health coverage for their employees — in addition to leaving 46 million low-income Americans without any health insurance, which is where we are now.

And with all the resources we have in this country, we cannot justify being where we are.