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?
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.