New Health Insurance Exchange Bill 971 So Middle of the Road it Hurts

Kaye Beach

April 6, 2011

SB 971, the new health insurance exchange (err…network!) bill-there it sits, unloved,  in the middle of the road.  Will the Oklahoma State legislature stripe it now?

This Tulsa World article mistakenly credits me with OK-SAFE’s action alert on SB 971 that was re- posted (with credits) to my website.  A flattering mistake but credit goes to the OK-SAFE crew.

The Tulsa World reports today;

The latest legislative attempt to create a state health insurance exchange is drawing criticism from the left and the right.

Senate Bill 971 would create a state exchange along the lines of an agreement worked out by Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker Kris Steele – the three most powerful Republicans in state government – after two previous legislative attempts at exchanges fell apart politically.

Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow, a member of the conservative bloc that successfully fought the previous plans, said any legislation that sets up a state exchange would be the means of imposing “Obamacare” on the state.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats criticize the bill for not being close enough to the federal health-care law.

Sen. Tom Adelson, D-Tulsa, called the bill disappointing and predictable and said whether it would satisfy mandates of the federal health-care law is questionable.

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