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Fallin rejects state-based exchange and Medicaid expansion

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Governor Mary Fallin
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By Andrew W. Griffin

Red Dirt Report, editor

Posted: November 19, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act hit a major roadblock in the Sooner State today when Republican Gov. Mary Fallin announced that the state will not be pursuing the creation of a state-based exchange or participate in the Medicaid expansion of act, known colloquially as “Obamacare.”

“After careful consideration, I have today informed U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius that Oklahoma will not pursue the creation of its own health insurance exchange,” Fallin said in a press release. “Any exchange that is PPACA compliant will necessarily 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.

When Al Gerhart, head of the Oklahoma City-based Sooner Tea Party learned of the decision, he chuckled and said, “Gov. Fallin, welcome back to the Republican Party.”

In the Sooner Tea Party’s latest email dispatch, they featured a post headlined “Mary Fallin, Don’t You Dare Implement Obama Care in Oklahoma.”

The liberty-minded activist group had written: “The majority of the federal programs that are eroding our freedom like Agenda 21, the Fusion Centers, education decrees, and other socialist-leaning programs are usually implemented only because the feds dangle federal money in front of greedy politicians and special interest groups as bait.”

And then they wrote: “Fallin is likely to give in to the large insurance companies and hospitals and try to implement Obama Care if we don’t pound her on the issue … Tell her that Medicaid shouldn’t be expanded and that any form of Health Insurance Exchange will be a personal slap in your face that will be remembered come election time in 2014.”

So it seems as though Gov. Fallin got the message.

“She had to listen to us,” Gerhart said, repeating his earlier statement, “Welcome back to the Republican Party. We’re proud of her.”

And speaking of the Republican Party, Matt Pinnell, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party said Fallin’s decision allows for the Obama administration to “sleep in the bed they made for themselves.”

“I think it was a good decision,” Pinnell said. “A decision a good leader would make. (Fallin) isn’t looking one or two years down the road but how it will affect the state for years to come.”

Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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