Rep. James Lankford Introduces Bill for States to Opt Out of Obamacare with 'Health Care Compact'

Washington, DC—Representative James Lankford (R-OK), Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, today introduced the House Joint Resolution legislative proposal for the Health Care Compact, a breakthrough governance reform that allows states to clean up the health care mess created by the federal government.

“The Health Care Compact is a way for states to protect their residents from the top-down, one-size-fits-all health care ‘solutions’ that have been imposed from Washington DC, including Obamacare,” said Lankford.

“The compact transfers health care decision-making authority and responsibility from the federal level to member states. Those member states are then free to implement their own health care systems without interference from federal bureaucrats, using federal health care funds already collected and spent in their state.”

To date, eight states have joined the Health Care Compact (Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah), and legislation has either passed the state legislature or is being considered in 12 additional states.

Interstate compacts are governing tools that have been used on more than 200 occasions to establish agreements between and among states. Mentioned in Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution, compacts are constitutional instruments that provide authority and flexibility to the states for administering government programs without federal interference. Congressional consent is required for states to enter into a legally binding compact.

The Health Care Compact does not conflict with efforts by state attorneys general, state legislators or Members of Congress to repeal or modify the President’s health care law.

“I still strongly support a full repeal of Obamacare. While we wait for this President and Senate Democrats to move beyond their intransigent support of this unworkable law, Congress can give interested states a way to solve their state’s health-care problems themselves. States that like their Obamacare can keep their Obamacare. The Health Care Compact simply gives a state like Oklahoma the option to create a customized system that better meets the needs of Oklahoma families.”

On average, more than 96 percent of health care is provided and consumed within a state by residents of that state. The Health Care Compact recognizes that with the lion’s share of health care being locally provided and locally consumed, regulating it at the state level makes more sense than the centralized, one-size-fits-all policies mandated from Washington. Centralized micromanagement of a complex industry serving more than 300 million people will not work.

“With $2.3 trillion spent annually and almost 3,000 pages of regulations for Medicare and Medicaid, federal management of our complex health care system has proved to be incompetent, inflexible and incomprehensible to the average American,” observed Lankford. “States already manage Medicaid, but they are burdened with thousands of pages of federal regulation, which makes the system inefficient and impersonal. The Health Care Compact moves decision-making closer to the people, freeing states to address health care innovation, increased options and affordability."

“I am proud to join the many state legislators, governors, businessmen and hard-working Americans who have worked to build support and momentum for the idea of the Health Care Compact, and I am proud to introduce the common-sense bill for this sensible solution,” concluded Lankford.

For a copy of the bill text, please click here.


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