Senate panel OKs bill to establish health care exchange
BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer
Monday, February 27, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY - A Senate committee approved a proposal Monday that would establish a state health care exchange without complying with the federal Affordable Care Act.
The measure passed on a 7-2 vote, but three Republican senators who voted for the measure made a point of saying they weren’t completely sold on it and need to be further convinced.
“This state Senate will stop at nothing to stop Obamacare from coming the state of Oklahoma,” said Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa. Newberry voted for the bill but told its supporters that a lot of debate is still to be had on whether it helps or hinders President Obama’s health care law.
Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, assured the members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee that this measure will continue the state’s fight against the federal law, although it does establish a health insurance exchange, a mandate of the federal health care law.
“This is an Oklahoma solution. This is not Obamacare,” Stanislawski said.
The proposal would create an exchange where businesses and their employees could buy health insurance. No one would be required to buy insurance under the proposal, Stanislawski said.
The bill would not change the state’s constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act, he said.
Read more in Tuesday's Tulsa World.
Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa