The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 9, 2012

Fallin, Pruitt should accept ACA funds

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

It is sad to see Gov. Mary Fallin give in to the more radical wing of her party when it comes to accepting President Obama’s Patient Protection Affordable Care Act. Neither politics nor personal agendas should ever come before the safety and well-being of Oklahoma citizens.

After several years of budget shortfalls and agency cutbacks, it is a travesty of justice that the governor sent back $54 million and for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to continue to pursue the losing proposition of spending millions of tax dollars on his “vain” lawsuit to keep Oklahomans from enjoying the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Because Oklahoma has a high percentage of smokers and tobacco users, we have a high number of people suffering from various forms of cancer, lung disease and heart trouble. We also have more than our share of people who are obese, suffer from diabetes and other ailments that are preventable. Likewise, we rank very high in the number of teen pregnancies, so pre-natal and post-natal checkups are very important, as are well-child programs. Incidentally, did you know that the governor quietly signed an executive order allowing insurance companies to not cover children from birth through their first birthday? This is the most vulnerable year of any one’s life.

This is a perfect segue to mention the closure of pre-existing conditions. Without the ACA, a child born with asthma, autism or Asberger’s Syndrome would have a pre-existing condition, allowing insurance companies to refuse coverage to that child later in life, even for other medical conditions unrelated to those earlier mentioned. President Obama eliminated the pre-existing condition loop hole. That means that those Oklahoma kids born without insurance could now be covered by insurance and hopefully grow up healthy and able to lead a productive life.

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