Rep. Coburn Can Continue To Practice Medicine
By Caroline Nolan/CNN
WASHINGTON (March 4) -- Rep. Tom Coburn and the House ethics committee have reached an agreement that allows the doctor-legislator to continue to practice medicine in Oklahoma while also serving in Congress, CNN has learned.
Coburn, a Republican, will be allowed to include his name on his office door and bills and prescriptions issued by his medical practice in Oklahoma, but will not receive medical compensation that exceeds his expenses. He personally can only make enough money to cover his malpractice insurance. Any profits would go to the partnership but not directly to him.
Coburn, who met with the ethics committee Wednesday, appealed last week's ruling prohibiting the use of his name on his bills and forms.
In a written statement, Coburn said, "I was encouraged by the meeting and am pleased that the ethics committee will allow me to do what I need to do to continue my career as a doctor. I am now satisfied that I will be able to fulfill my ethical responsibilities as a physican and a congressman."
Citing a 1989 law that prohibits lawmakers from earning money from a "fiduciary" relationship or a relationship involving trust, the committee ruled last week that doctor-patient relationships violated the law. Last week's ruling did not specifically address whether Coburn could continue to use his name in association with his medical partnership.
An ethics committee spokesman pointed out that the committee had not
changed its position on limiting financial compensation for fiduciary
relationships, but was pleased they could reach an accommodation that would allow Coburn to remain in Congress.