Deadline Approaching For Oklahoma To Install Insurance Exchange

Thursday, November 15th 2012, 6:51 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

States will have a little more time to decide if they will comply with part of President Obama's Healthcare Act.

Oklahoma now has a month to set up a health insurance exchange, or the Federal government will do it for us. So far, Oklahoma doesn't have a plan.

The exchange is an online website where people without insurance could go to hopefully get better rates. Up until this point, Republicans had hoped Mitt Romney would win the election and this wouldn't be an issue.

At the Ninnekah Community Thanksgiving Dinner, most folks are finding President Obama's Healthcare plan hard to swallow.

"It just seems like the whole free country has just gone out the window," said Curtis Hart.  

Hart owns the Muscle Car Ranch in Chickasha. He doesn't have health insurance. But with Obamacare, he will have to get it. To help those like Curtis get the best rates, every state will have to have a healthcare insurance exchange. Either the states set it up themselves or the Federal government will.

"I'm afraid with the deadline approaching us we're going to have this forced down our throats," said Rep. Joe Dorman (D).   

Dorman has drafted a petition that would call legislators in for a special session to decide what to do.

"This would have given us a chance to develop something locally, and hopefully it would benefit all of us better than a one-size-fits-all program," said Dorman.

Republicans are talking about a solution. 

"We are all still hearing from the many voices within our caucus, all of whom share my desire to protect Oklahoma from Obamacare," said Sen. Clark Jolley (R ) Edmond.

But in Ninnehak, folks agree the best protection at this point is a decision before the deadline.

"If the Feds are going to shove this down our throat, I would rather have our local government govern the deal for us, instead of having to do what they say," said Joe Bob Nelson, a rancher and bail bondsman in Ninnekah.

News 9  expects an announcement regarding health insurance exchanges from Gov. Fallin before the end of the day on Friday. We are told the Governor also opposes a special session.