Published: May 11, 2011
The overwhelming passage of State Question 756 in November left Oklahomans thinking that our state opted out of Obamacare. Unfortunately, that would be wrong. Likewise, most Oklahomans probably think passage of SQ 756 sent a strong message to state officials that they opposed Obamacare and wanted no part of it. That also would be wrong.
A cornerstone of Obamacare is the mandate directing all states establish a “health exchange.” Without the establishment of these exchanges, Obamacare cannot be implemented. Legislative leaders and the governor pushed to establish an exchange and accept a $54 million federal grant. Due to public pressure and opposition by some conservative legislators, the governor reversed herself on the acceptance of the grant. Rejecting the federal money is good, but the worst part of the proposal, the health exchange, is still being pushed by the governor and legislative leaders.
This is the most important issue we face this year and possibly in a generation, for three reasons.