The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 14, 2012

State needs to set up insurance exchange

NORMAN — Republican governors in Missouri and Kansas have announced that their states will not establish their own state-federal health insurance marketplaces. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin will likely make the same announcement later this week after she finishes attending the Republican Governors Association.

We hope Gov. Fallin shows some independence here and decides Oklahoma is capable of setting up its own electronic exchange. The exchanges are online marketplaces where consumers and businesses can make quick comparisons of private insurance offerings.

It’s part of the Affordable Health Care Act approved by Congress and affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. All states that have not notified the federal government of their intentions must give notice by Friday, or the federal government will set up a plan for them. The exchanges must be operating by 2014.

In 2011, the state accepted a $54 million federal grant to set up the plan. Republicans criticized the plan, the attorney general filed suit, and the state changed its mind and said no thanks.

We think Oklahomans can build and operate such an exchange effectively and efficiently without federal intervention.

Several governors, including Oklahoma, bet on a change in the White House and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act legislation. It’s way past time for Oklahoma to get started, but we’d rather have our own state build the exchange rather than leave it to the federal government.

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

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014