Tag Archives: insurance exchange

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.

Read More

Health Exchange/Network Language Found- SB971 Needs to be Stopped

Kaye Beach

April 2, 2011

The following is a slightly abbreviated version of the Action alert issued by OK-SAFE this evening.  To read the entire alert click here

OK-SAFE, 5/2/11 –

The substitute language for the failed HB 2130 (HUB board bill, establishing governance of the health insurance exchange) has appeared in a newly-created appropriations bill, SB 971. 

SB 971 was introduced on 4/27/11 and has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget. 

Details on who to call are below. The bill’s language is posted on the OK-SAFE blog.


[. . .]Grassroots groups’ research and lobbying helped force the rejection of the $54 Early Innovator Grant, awarded to Oklahoma in February 2011 to implement the technology systems necessary to create such an exchange. (See diagram below.)

HB 2130, as you may remember, established the Health Care for the Uninsured board (HUB) governance over the implementation of a health insurance exchange in Oklahoma.

HB 2130, narrowly passed in the House on 3/17/11, was refused a hearing in the Senate due to the outrage caused by its’ passage.

Oklahomans don’t want an exchange, with or without federal grant money.

However, a few Senators are again attempting to pass the same language that was used in the HUB bill (HB 2130), switching the HUB board to a new board, and replacing an exchange with a “Network.”  

Specifically, SB 971 would create a 7-member Health Insurance Private Enterprise Network board, to be chaired by the Insurance Commissioner: 3 members appointed by the governor, one member by the Speaker, one member by the Senate Pro-Tem, and includes the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Terry Cline.  This board would pick an Executive Director for the Network.

This 7-member board can end up being the same people who would have been on the 9-member HUB board as defined in HB 2130, minus two.

[. . .]SB 971 further states: Funding for the Network shall come from state and private sources.

We’ve been told the state is facing a budget shortfall – where will the funding come from? What/who are the private sources?

There is no reference in the bill for how the Network website is to be set up, which opens the door for passing this right back to the system shown in the diagram above.

“Oh”, one Senator has said, “but this bill is completely different. You’ll like it.”  Huh?

Please Call [and or email] the following legislators and ask for NO vote on SB 971:

Senate Member Directory

1) Senate Appropriations Committee group email list: (Note- Sen. Myers and Sen. Sykes’ emails go to their executive assistants, Ingraham and Lewis, respectively)

ingraham@oksenate.gov, jolly@oksenate.gov, ballenger@oksenate.gov, branan@oksenate.gov, brinkley@oksenate.gov, burrage@oksenate.gov, crain@oksenate.gov, fordj@oksenate.gov, halligan@oksenate.gov, ivester@oksenate.gov, justice@oksenate.gov, marlatt@oksenate.gov, newberry@oksenate.gov, nichols@oksenate.gov, paddock@oksenate.gov, rice@oksenate.gov, stanislawski@oksenate.gov, lewis@oksenate.gov, wilson@oksenate.gov, wyrick@oksenate.gov

2) House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget: group email:

earl.sears@okhouse.gov, scott.martin@okhouse.gov, donarmes@okhouse.gov, lisajbilly@okhouse.gov, gusblackwell@okhouse.gov, mikebrown@okhouse.gov, dougcox@okhouse.gov, david.dank@okhouse.gov, leedenney@okhouse.gov, daledewitt@okhouse.gov, joedorman@okhouse.gov, chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov, guyliebmann@okhouse.gov, jerrymcpeak@okhouse.gov, ronpeters@okhouse.gov, danielsullivan@okhouse.gov, purcywalker@okhouse.gov