Oklahoma Refuses to Set up Obamacare Exchange

Oklahoma Refuses to Set up Obamacare Exchange

On Monday, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said the state would not set up state-based Obamacare exchanges and refuse to participate in the law’s Medicaid expansion as well. 

Fallin said that any exchange would be “state-run” in name only and “would require Oklahoma resources, staff and tax dollars to implement.”

“It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government, that is opposed by a clear majority of Oklahomans, and that will further the implementation of a law that threatens to erode both the quality of American health care and the fiscal stability of the nation,” Fallin said. 

Fallin’s decision means the federal government will design Oklahoma’s state exchange.

The governor went on to say that this choice has been “forced on the people of Oklahoma by the Obama Administration in spite of the fact that voters have overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to the federal health care law through their support of State Question 756, a constitutional amendment prohibiting the implementation of key components of PPACA.”

Fallin also said Oklahoma will not be participating in the proposed expansion of Medicaid because it would be “unaffordable, costing the state of Oklahoma up to $475 million between now and 2020, with escalating annual expenses in subsequent years.”

Fallin said Oklahoma “will pursue two actions simultaneously” going forward. First, she said the state will support “Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s ongoing legal challenge of PPACA.” 

Second, Oklahoma will pursue “state-based solutions that improve health outcomes and contain costs for Oklahoma families” because “serious reform” should be “be pursued in the area of Medicaid and public health, where effective chronic disease prevention and management programs could address the trend of skyrocketing medical bills linked to avoidable hospital and emergency room visits.”

“I look forward to working with legislative leaders and lawmakers in both parties to pursue Oklahoma health care solutions for Oklahoma families,” Fallin said.