The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 12, 2012

Constituencies bend Fallin’s ear on health care

OKLAHOMA CITY — Looming decisions for Gov. Mary Fallin on how Oklahoma will respond to the sweeping federal health care law are prompting an energetic, behind-the-scenes lobbying effort by hospitals, insurance companies, business and industry groups, and other constituencies that will be affected by provisions of the law.

Fallin is expected to announce within the next week her position on whether the state will move ahead with setting up a state-based online health insurance marketplace, or exchange, required under the law. Oklahoma policymakers also must decide whether the state will expand its Medicaid eligibility to provide coverage to thousands of low-income, uninsured citizens.

Fallin has yet to stake out a position on either proposal and faces a delicate political balancing act in a state where Republicans have bitterly resisted the requirements of the new federal health care law. On the one hand, hospital officials and chamber groups are pushing for both a state-based exchange and an expansion of Medicaid. But both of those ideas are fiercely opposed by tea party and other grass-roots activists who have been fighting implementation of the law since its passage in 2010.

“It’s a real challenge for the governor because what it’s done is put her right in between two major constituent groups inside the Republican Party,” said Keith Gaddie, a professor of political science at the University of Oklahoma.

The Tulsa Metro Chamber, which represents more than 3,000 members, is among those lobbying the governor to support both a state-operated insurance exchange and an expansion of Medicaid.

“Certainly health care is one of the two largest employment sectors in Tulsa, so we’re very cognizant of the jobs health care provides in our community,” said Susan Harris, a senior vice president at the chamber who works on health policy. “Also, we need a healthy work force. Healthy workers get better jobs, make more money and take care of themselves.”

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014