|By D.E. Smoot, Muskogee Phoenix, Okla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The governor and legislative leaders gambled -- and lost -- on both hands they played. With deadlines looming for decisions about setting up a state health insurance exchange and expanding
Hulbert never favored the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, primarily due to his belief "it is an overstretch of the government's authority with the required individual mandate." But Hulbert said he would work within the framework of the law as a legislator "in the best interest of Oklahomans."
"I never was in favor of it, but it was upheld by the
Top Republican lawmakers were urged by a conservative political action committee a week ago to fight federal health care reforms to the end. The state's attorney general continues to challenge the federal law in the courts.
Hulbert said regardless of the rigid resistance to health care reform that appears to be developing at the state Capitol, he will do what he thinks is best.
"I am sure I will be at odds with them on a lot of things, but you do what you think is best," Hulbert said about the likelihood of butting heads with
Some of the delay, Weintz said, is because of the federal government's "failure ... to provide further guidance regarding its own rules and regulations." Weintz said the governor "is extremely frustrated that states have been asked to make important decisions about the health outcomes of their citizens with little or no information."
"Basic questions, such as, 'How much will an insurance exchange cost the state of
Weintz said the governor's policy staff believes missing the deadline to submit a blueprint for a state insurance exchange -- the Obama administration extended the deadline until
Provisions dealing with
"The election ended a very short time ago, as you know," Weintz said. "Her priority is not to make this decision as quickly as possible, it is to make the right decision.
Hulbert, a physical therapist who has taught "an objective non-political course" about the impact of federal health-care reforms on providers, said one of his biggest concerns with
Hulbert cites estimates provided by the
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