The physician-turned-senator has frequently suggested that current reform legislation will lead to rationed care in the U.S. healthcare system.

"The control of the costs, like every other country in the world that has single payer, the control of the costs is rationing," Coburn said.

This prompted an audience member to say that rationing already exists in the U.S., after which Coburn said that limited rationing of care takes place under the current system.

The conservative Republican's comments represent a concession to Democratic talking points regarding the inadequacy of the current healthcare system in the U.S.

But Coburn held firm in his opposition to a public health insurance option during the town hall meeting in Bentonville, Ark.

"There is no compassion in any government program...Jesus said love your brother as yourself. We need to be about loving, and you can't love through the federal government," the first-term senator said.

"Every system we have today is bankrupt, this one will be too," he remarked, referring to government-run healthcare plans in other countries.

Coburn also criticized Social Security and Medicare in his remarks, saying that they too were "bankrupt."