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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oklahoma Joins The Other 19 States Deciding Not To Create Obamacare State Exchanges

By Susan Duclos

Oklahoma has made it's decision and will not be creating a state health care exchange, leaving the mess and the cost to fall on the Federal government, something the Obamacare bill did not account for in their original accounting to pay for Obamacare.

Doak Supports Gov. Fallin's Decision to Reject a State-Based Exchange (Registration required for link)

 OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak announced Monday that he backs Gov. Mary Fallin's decision not to pursue a state-based health insurance exchange for Oklahoma.

"I fully support the Governor's choice to forego a state-based exchange," said Doak. "Oklahomans have been very clear about Obamacare. They don't want it. An overwhelming majority, 65 percent, voted to outlaw individual mandates in 2010. That opposition is just as strong today. In the past two weeks, my office has been flooded with calls from concerned citizens who say they are adamantly against a state-based exchange. I think we should listen to them."

Commissioner Doak also said he supports Attorney General Scott Pruitt's pending lawsuit challenging the implementation of certain provisions of Obamacare.

"Attorney General Pruitt's lawsuit gives me great hope," said Doak. "It could deal a serious blow to the future of this overreaching law. Obamacare puts the nation's fiscal stability at risk and violates the rights of individuals and states. We all agree that our health insurance system needs improvement, but we need to come up with state-based health care solutions that improve the lives of Oklahoma families without sacrificing their individual liberties."

The Hill reports on Oklahoma's refusal to create a state health care exchange also.

The other 19 that have made their decisions already, via Obamacare Watcher:

New Hampshire
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota

William Teach over at Right Wing News has a little fun with the liberal "shock" at the fact that Republican governors would not set up state exchanges, then points to the biggest reason for their refusal to do so:

That’s part of the reason, but, there is a bigger reason
The more states stonewall the exchanges, the more it complicates the task of the federal government. One challenge is that the law lacks an automatic funding mechanism for HHS to set up state exchanges. Enrollment is slated to begin next October, and the exchanges are scheduled to start functioning by January 2014.
So far, over a dozen Republican governors have opted to let the Central Government deal with setting up exchanges. Others have not decided as of yet, but will surely opt for federal exchanges. First, they do not want to be on the hook for helping create an exchange. Second, as mentioned, this puts the blame in Obama’s hands. Third, as mentioned, there is no funding mechanism. When the special interests, healthcare companies, and insurance companies wrote the 2,700 page law that no one who provided a “yea” vote for read, they forgot to provide funding to set up and administrate federally run exchanges. And the slush fund for HHS is “only” a billion dollars, not enough to do the job.

The Obamacare law does not specify funds for exchanges set up by the federal government vs the states. So HHS would have to use the money already in it's budget or request additional funds from Congress, where Republicans in the House of Representatives control the purse strings.

No way will Republicans provide more appropriations for Obamacare.

(Headline corrected)