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Healthcare Exchanges don’t fare well in Oklahoma

April 3, 2011

I received an email update from Oklahomans for Liberty today detailing the current state of healthcare exchanges in their state.

The Oklahoma House’s  HB 2130, which would have utilized a federal grant issued under Obamacare to pay for a health exchange website died in the Senate this week.

Or did it?

David Tackett writes that he was just made aware of SB 411, which has already passed the Senate and is to be debated on the floor of the State House sometime this week. You can see the bill here.

Basically, SB 411 directs the State Department of Health to establish and maintain a comprehensive health care information system, published on a website, that provides pricing from different health care providers.  This bill is

a lot like the Healthcare Exchange Program that Governor Mary Fallin was trying to push with HB 2130.

OK Gov Mary Fallin

 

And Mary Fallin is a conservative Republican, the state’s first female governor and former Congresswoman–just elected this past November.

Another red flag with SB 411 is how this website is supposed to be paid for.  The “fiscal impact” says no money is coming from the state budget to pay for it.  So how will this new health care information system be paid for? Possibly from a $54 million Obamacare grant?

Tackett writes that he doesn’t know if this is an end run to let Gov. Fallin to spend the Obamacare money but he thinks it doesn’t pass the smell test.

This issue has valuable lessons for Colorado, too:

  • Just because they’re Republicans and they claim to be conservative, it doesn’t mean that they’re fiscal conservatives. Officials of all kinds are happy to get something for nothing. Or so they think.
  • Just when you think your elected officials have gotten the word that the majority of voters don’t want Obamacare, they surprise you.
  • Just when you think healthcare exchanges or any other aspect of Obamacare is dead, it raises its ugly head again. It’s Freddy Kruger in more ways than one.

Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

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