Gov. Asks Feds To Support Insure Oklahoma Program
|By Wayne Greene, Tulsa World, Okla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Fallin said she called
When asked if she was optimistic about the chances of a reversal of the federal decision, Fallin said, "Well, I have got to ask."
In May, federal officials told the state that it would not participate in the Insure Oklahoma program after this year unless it was altered significantly to make it conform with the Affordable Care Act -- also known as "Obamacare."
"I wanted to once again tell them we thought it was important, and we gave them all the reasons why and how it had been successful for our state," Fallin said.
"I also told him that I had actually tried to work with
Fallin said Agnew told her that the administration would revisit the issue.
The program uses about
The number of people participating in the program is capped to limit the state's potential costs, although that cap has never been met.
In May, federal officials notified the state that they weren't willing to continue the waiver unless the cap was removed and other changes were made to make the program fit within the boundaries of the Affordable Care Act.
About 30,000 working poor Oklahomans and their families get health care through Insure Oklahoma.
About 21,000 of them will be able to get federal subsidies through a health insurance exchange when the Insure Oklahoma program ends, but the 9,000 poorest clients will not be eligible for that program.
The 9,000 clients -- those earning less than the federal poverty level -- would have been eligible for
In the final days of the legislative session, Fallin attempted to save coverage for the 9,000 Insure Oklahoma clients on the verge of losing their subsidies with an all-state-funded effort, but Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon refused to consider the option.
Fallin has said she might call
When asked Thursday if she was still considering a special session, Fallin brought up the phone call with Agnew.
"When the president was here touring our tornado damage, he said, 'Anything you guys need in
"I told him it was a successful program we have had in
Some 4,700 businesses participate in the program, she said.
Fallin said she told Agnew that the Insure Oklahoma program was comparable to a private insurance financing program approved for
"We are trying to find an
When federal officials notified the state of their decision to pull out of the Insure Oklahoma program, they gave state officials a
Mullin blasts Affordable Care Act in speech
In a one-minute speech, the 2nd District Republican said the federal health-care law was forcing small employers such as himself to obey mandates that inhibit their ability to grow and thrive.
"When you attack a small business, you attack the backbone of our economy," Mullin said.
The federal law requires employers to offer qualifying health-care coverage to workers or face stiff tax penalties, but companies with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the mandate.
Although the tax penalties don't go into effect until
"Where is the recovery America was promised?" he asked. "It is time we put America back in business."
(c)2013 Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.)
Visit Tulsa World (Tulsa, Okla.) at www.tulsaworld.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services