Oklahoma is latest to reject state-based health exchange
[Note from Kelly at the end of this article.]
Add Oklahoma to the list of Republican-led states that won’t implement the key feature of President Obama’s healthcare law.
Gov. Mary Fallin said Monday that she won’t set up a state-based insurance exchange — a new portal where people who don’t get insurance through their employers can shop for coverage, often with help from a federal subsidy.
“It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government, that is opposed by a clear majority of Oklahomans, and that will further the implementation of a law that threatens to erode both the quality of American healthcare and the fiscal stability of the nation,” Fallin said in a statement.
Republican governors are under pressure from conservatives not to set up their own exchanges. It’s seen as the best chance to stand in the way of the Affordable Care Act now that Obama’s reelection has protected the law from legislative repeal.
Fallin’s decision means that the federal government will now run Oklahoma’s exchange, as it will in the other GOP-led states that have rejected their own exchanges.
Fallin also said the state will not participate in the healthcare law’s Medicaid expansion, which became optional as a result of the Supreme Court’s landmark healthcare ruling.
Notes from Kelly: This entire article has been reblogged from THE HILL’s Healthcare Blog. While I understand that a governor can only run a State with the money they have, meaning – I understand rejecting the Medicaid Expansion if we really couldn’t afford it, I don’t understand the rejection of the exchange.
Oklahoma initially was chosen for an extremely large grant to set up an exchange. We rejected that. Then, we waited the election out, which means we simply waited on an unelectable candidate to push things back. NOW, if the only reason, according to this article, IS simply “the best chance to stand in the way of the Affordable Care Act,” then I view this move as putting Oklahoman’s on the front line of a battle with ourselves; we’re providing the ammunition to shoot ourselves down due to the unwillingness to cooperate with the sitting President and the Senate. The Affordable Healthcare Act is here to stay, and now Oklahoman’s will have to work with the Federal government’s view of what’s appropriate for their insurance choices.
Ugh. Today I’m really disappointed in our governor’s choice.