The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 10, 2013

Affordable Care Act here to stay

NORMAN — Like it or not, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, attorney Karen Rieger told Norman Chamber of Commerce members this past week. The Supreme Court upheld it, President Barack Obama was re-elected, and businesses and individuals need to be ready.

“There’s nothing that would appear to stop the Affordable Care Act at this point,” said Rieger, whose practice includes mostly health care clients. “We have to forge ahead.”

The chamber’s luncheon panel on the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — Understanding the Changes and Business Implications” was hosted Thursday at the Chamber office. Panelists included Rieger, with Crowe & Dunlevy, Kelley Grace, CPA with Eide Bailly LLP, Tim McFall of INSURICA — Agar-Ford-Jarmon & Muldrow Insurance, and Norman Regional Health System President and CEO David Whitaker.

Gov. Mary Fallin declined federal money and refused to set up a state-sponsored insurance exchange, but Rieger said, “We’ll have a federal exchange in Oklahoma.”

The Oklahoma attorney general filed a lawsuit challenging the obligation of Oklahoma employers to pay penalties for insurance purchased by employees through the federal exchange available in Oklahoma. That lawsuit challenges the availability of tax credits for individuals and employers.

Since there is no state exchange, there will be no tax credits. Therefore, employers should be exempt for the penalties, the AG argues. The feds say Oklahoma has no case.

“The government has filed a motion to dismiss,” Rieger said. That case is pending, so businesses will need to “stay tuned” for what comes next.

Grace said there are 46 million to 54 million uninsured people representing 16 percent of the population, which is what got the state to the point where lawmakers intervened. The highest rate of uninsured is in the 19-to-29 age group. Additionally, 25 million more are underinsured.

A new law allowing dependent children to stay on a parent’s plan until age 27 may help alleviate the problem with the uninsured in that age group, Grace said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Two homes engulfed in flame

    Norman firefighters responded to a structure fire early Sunday morning to find two homes engulfed in flames. Deputy Fire Chief Jim Bailey said crews performed searches on both structures, but found no occupants in the homes at 1412 and ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Music festival in its seventh year

    In its seventh year, Norman Music Festival is once again packing downtown Norman with the sounds of local, national and international music for three days of entertainment....

    April 21, 2014

  • OU grad crowned Cherry Blossom Queen

    Sooner red cowboy boots could barely be seen peaking out from underneath the long, formal white dress Rainey Sewell wore. As a giant Wheel of Fortune was spun at the 2014 National Conference of State Societies’ Cherry Blossom Queen ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Five receive honorary degrees

    Four individuals will join University of Oklahoma Commencement speaker Wendy Kopp, CEO and co-founder of Teach For All, and Founder and chair of Teach For America, in being awarded honorary degrees at OU’s 2014 Commencement Ceremony, ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Norman transplants have ties to their home

    Taylor Newcomb started working full time at Weichert Realty in January. One March day he noticed a young woman talking with another employee in the office. He thought she looked familiar, might even be the sister of one of his classmates ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Sooner awarded Truman Scholarship

    A University of Oklahoma National Merit Scholar and Honors student has been selected as a recipient of the Truman Scholarship. Alexis Taitel won the prestigious award based on her leadership potential, intellectual ability and the ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Club to spotlight literacy

    The Altrusa International Club of Norman will sponsor its “Red Dirt Roundup” event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Lowry Room of the Norman Public Library, 225 N. Webster Ave....

    April 21, 2014

  • Rebuilding Together begins

    Rebuilding Together Cleveland County, formerly known as Christmas in April, is a small branch of the national organization Rebuilding Together. Rebuilding Together leads the nation in unifying volunteers to improve the lives of low-income ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Festivities, tight security before race

    BOSTON — In many ways, it felt like any other pre-marathon Sunday in Boston....

    April 21, 2014

  • Boston race makes room for those affected by bombs

    BOSTON — “I need to run.” The messages started arriving just hours after the bombings, pleading for an entry into the 2014 Boston Marathon. For months the calls and emails continued, runners begging for an opportunity to cross the finish ...

    April 21, 2014