NORMAN — Gov. Mary Fallin missed an opportunity to put aside partisan differences and let Oklahomans take some control of their health care expenditures. The governor decided the state would not be setting up an online marketplace for health insurance shopping.
It’s now up to the federal government to set up such an exchange that will help thousands of Oklahomans buy the health insurance that is required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The governor accepted a $54 million grant to set up the exchange in 2011 but changed her mind a few months later after fellow Republicans were critical of accepting such a grant before the Supreme Court weighed in on the Act’s constitutionality.
In her statements rejecting the state-built exchange, the governor said it does the state no good to build an exchange that will ultimately have to be aproved by the federal government.
Gov. Fallin and other governors first bet that the Supreme Court would nullify the law, then they were lead to believe President Obama would not be re-elected and Congress would throw out the legislation.
She changed her mind in 2011 regarding the state’s grant to set up a model exchange. Perhaps she will reverse course and let the state have some say in the future insurance marketplace.