OK-SAFE, Inc. Blog

August 26, 2014

Fallin Narcissistic Truth Telling

OK-SAFE, Inc. – This post by Randy Brogdon at Restore Liberty OK could also be called “Fallin’s Piecemeal Implementation of Obamacare”

Governor-Mary-Fallin

Fallin Narcissistic Truth Telling

August 26, 2014

Politicians often have a narcissistic way of telling the truth.  Narcissism is “the pursuit of gratification of one’s own attributes, derived from arrogant pride.”  If the truth makes them look good they tend to blab it to anyone willing to listen.  If it shines a negative light on them, the truth is often hidden or stretched.

Governor Fallin’s recent lack of blab on a federal grant request, suggests an example of narcissistic truth telling.  Fallin recently said, “Every month we learn a new lesson about why the state of Oklahoma should stay as far away from ObamaCare as possible.”  “The law has cost millions of people their health insurance, is failing to bend the cost curve for medical care, and is constantly in danger of being thrown out by courts for being constitutionally suspect.”  (I’ll go ahead and say it, it’s unconstitutional)

I wholeheartedly agree with that statement, but, there is a but.  Oklahoma Watch inadvertently and inaccurately reported on July 31, that the state had chosen not to participate in the State Innovation Models $700 million grant program.  The inaccuracies in that report were due to the Governor’s office failure to disclose applying for the grant, even after specifically being asked about the program during the interview.

On July 18, 2014, only two weeks before the Oklahoma Watch interview, Fallin requested the maximum amount of $3 million on the grant application.  Her stated reason was, because it is a “health system innovation that makes good business sense.”  Which is it?  Is ObamaCare something to stay away from, or is it an innovation?

Rest of post here.

 

 

 

July 22, 2014

Appeals Court Deals Major Blow to Affordable Care Act

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Some good news about the Unaffordable Care Act.

From the WSJ Blog 7/22/14:

Appeals Court Deals Major Blow to Affordable Care Actby Jacob Gershman

A federal appeals court on Tuesday dealt a serious blow to the Obama administration’s implementation of its signature health-care law, striking down subsidies available to some consumers who purchase health coverage on insurance exchanges set up by the federal government.

WSJ’s Brent Kendall has more on the breaking legal development out of Washington:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, on a 2-1 vote, invalidated an Internal Revenue Service regulation that implemented a key piece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The regulation said subsidies for health insurance were available to qualifying middle- and low-income consumers whether they bought coverage on a state exchange or one run by the federal government.

The ruling potentially could cripple the Affordable Care Act by making subsidies unavailable in as many as 36 states where the federal government has run some or all of the insurance exchanges.

The court sided with challengers, four individuals and three employers, who argued the health law allowed subsidies only for insurance purchases made through state exchanges. The issue became an important one after the law was enacted because more than two-thirds of the states chose not to set up their own exchanges, relying on federally run exchanges instead.

 

 

June 15, 2014

Oklahoma Judge to rule on Open Records Request

OK-SAFE, Inc. – (Background note: In mid-2010 former OK Governor Brad Henry signed the grant application for a $54 million Early Innovator grant to establish an insurance exchange in Oklahoma.  This exchange was a cornerstone of Obama Care.  In February 2011 Governor Mary Fallin accepted the grant money, after having won the 2010 election campaigning against Obama Care.

Public outrage and political push back followed.

In late April 2011 Fallin did an ‘about face’ and rejected the $54 million. Open records request by various news outlets sought the correspondence leading up to this decision.  In March 2013 Gov. Fallin’s office released 50,000 pages of documents. Missing were 100 pages of correspondence, held back claiming “executive privilege”.  The Lost Ogle and the ACLU then sued the Governor, seeking the missing documents.)

From FOI Oklahoma, June 13, 2014:

Ruling expected today on whether executive, deliberative process privileges allow Oklahoma governor to keep records secret

An Oklahoma County trial judge said Thursday she expects to rule “by the end of the week” on whether executive and deliberative process privileges permit Gov. Mary Fallin to keep records secret from the public.

Because Fallin is the first Oklahoma governor to claim these privileges, Oklahoma courts have never addressed the issue.

“I am just trying to find out how much authority I have out there to rely on,” District Judge Barbara Swinton told Fallin’s attorney during heard oral arguments Thursday.

The Lost Ogle and the ACLU of Oklahoma sued Fallin in April 2013 after she claimed these privileges allow her to keep secret 100 pages of advice from “senior executive branch officials” on the creation of a state health insurance exchange.

(Vandelay Entertainment LLC v. Fallin, Mary, No. CV-2013-763 (Okla. Co. April 9, 2013))

Fallin’s decision to reject Medicaid expansion funding affected about 250,000 Oklahomans.

The phrases “executive privilege” and “deliberate process privilege” do not exist in Oklahoma’s Constitution or in any Oklahoma statute.

Rest of post here.

We will post the judge’s decision when it becomes available.

 

October 28, 2013

Federal Exchange Blues – What Went Wrong with HealthCare.gov

OK-SAFE, Inc. – As predicited, the Un-Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”) insurance exchange is a mess.

The Washington Post has a created a graphic illustrating the steps a visitor must take using HealthCare.gov.   This is the website portal for the Federally-facilited Marketplace (or FFM). Marketplace was deemed less controversial than “exchange”, which became toxic due to states’ opposition to Obama Care.

wObamaCare_g

What Went Wrong With HealthCare.gov

HealthCare.gov, built by 55 contractors, is one of the most complex pieces of software ever created for the federal government. It communicates in real time with at least 112 different computer systems across the country. In the first 10 days, it received 14.6 million unique visits, according to the Obama administration.

A look at the consumer’s route through the HealthCare.gov website and the potential failure points.

Related Washington Post article here.

One thing that has become evident: UnitedHealthcare (UnitedHealth Group) has it’s fingers in a lot of Affordable Care Act pies – from policy making to health insurance products to the federal exchange IT systems (QSSI).

August 28, 2013

IRS Sets Penalties for non-participation in “Obama Care” insurance reform

Filed under: Exposing Health Care Reform, OK Grassroots, OK-SAFE — Tags: , , , , , — oksafeinc @ 1:28 pm

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Another argument in favor of eliminating the IRS (aka the Infernal Revenue Service): imposing penalties for not buying a product (health insurance).

To read the HHS final rule from the federal register click here.

To read the US Dept. of Treasure Fact Sheet click here.

From Fierce HealthPayer:

IRS sets penalties for patients who skip reform coverage
By Alicia Caramenico

August 28, 2013
The Internal Revenue Service has finalized penalties for individuals who do not obtain health insurance under healthcare reform.

Under the final rules, the shared responsibility payment for not maintaining essential coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is based on the greater of either a flat dollar amount or a percentage of household income over the taxpayer’s applicable filing threshold.

The penalty for not obtaining coverage is $95 per person or 1 percent of household income in 2014 and jumps to $325 or 2 percent of income in 2015. In 2016, the IRS will fine nonexempt individuals without coverage either $695 or 2.5 percent of household income. After 2016, the penalty will be determined by a cost-of-living formula.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates less than 2 percent of Americans will forgo coverage and owe a shared responsibility payment, according to an IRS fact sheet released Wednesday.

Individuals have minimum essential coverage for a calendar month if they’re enrolled in or covered by a health plan for at least one day during that month, according to the final rules. The IRS noted the one-day rule will ease administrative burdens for both taxpayers and the agency.

The IRS final rules do make some exceptions to the individual mandate. Those who will not have to make a shared responsibility payment include:

Individuals who cannot afford coverage;
Taxpayers with income below the filing threshold;
Members of Indian tribes;
Individuals who suffer hardship;
Individuals who experience short coverage gaps;
Members of religious sects or divisions;
Members of a healthcare sharing ministry;
Incarcerated individuals; and
Individuals who are not lawfully present.
“These rules will ease implementation and help ensure that the payment applies only to the limited group of taxpayers who choose to spend a substantial period of time without coverage despite having ready access to affordable coverage,” the agency said in the fact sheet.

The new rules come a month after the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives voted to delay the individual mandate for a year. The vote largely followed party lines with 22 Democrats among the 251 votes in favor of delaying the individual mandate while 174 voted against it, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

The IRS has taken some heat this year, thanks to the revelation that agency employees singled out conservative groups for harsh tax-exemption scrutiny. The IRS scandal strengthened the Republican fight against the Affordable Care Act and their complaints of government overreach.

June 24, 2013

OK-SAFE July 4th Money Bomb! Help Us Continue Our Work in Oklahoma

The people of Oklahoma have made it abundantly clear – they do not want “Obama Care” in this state.[1]

Neither does OK-SAFE. 

Who We Are

OK-SAFE, Inc. is a 501c4, non-profit Oklahoma Corporation, founded in late 2006 by 13 Oklahomans.  We are dedicated to the principles of constitutionally limited government, and the promotion of the American free enterprise system. 

We act only to secure Life, Liberty and Property (Pursuit of Happiness) in the state of Oklahoma, recognizing that these rights are endowments from God, not privileges dispensed by man.

In line with this purpose, OK-SAFE has made opposition to the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obama Care”) a primary focus of its efforts for the last couple of years.

Help OK-SAFE continue its’ work! Make plans today to donate to the JULY 4TH MONEY BOMB!  [Click HERE to donate.]Framed OK-SAFE Money Bomb Graphic

Principle Over Politics

OK-SAFE is a non-partisan policy organization dedicated to Principle over Politics.

We are not affiliated with any national organization and conduct original research.   The result is that OK-SAFE is able to direct its’ attention where the research and evidence demands – and not where any out-of-state entity dictates.

This intentional independence allows us to remain nimble and effective as an organization.

What We Do – Research

OK-SAFE actually reads the bills, unlike many of our elected officials!

We read the entire Affordable Care Act; we read and exposed the $54 M Early Innovator Grant for what it was – the means of implementing “Obama Care” in this state.

Not only did we lead the fight against this federal intrusion, weled Oklahoma’s successful push back against Insurance Exchanges, not once, but three times.

What We Have – Proven Credibility

OK-SAFE conducts its’ our own research and source all of its’ work.

In fact, OK-SAFE was the only grassroots group invited to give testimony to the 2011 Joint Legislative Committee on Federal Health Care Law in Oklahoma.

This same presentation, entitled Health Care Reform – IT, Security and Privacy Concerns has been read online over 3,500 times by people from across the country.   

The five months we dedicated to researching “Obama Care” enabled us to help other states launch their own successful anti-Obama Care efforts. (Kansas and South Dakota, for example.)

This research also laid the foundation for the creation of our single-subject website Exposing Health Care Reform, now used by researchers from across the nation.

Help OK-SAFE continue its’ work. Make plans today to donate to the July 4th MONEY BOMB.

Outreach and Grassroots Training – Essential Elements

OK-SAFE Executive Director, Amanda Teegarden, has been and continues to be a frequent featured guest speaker at both in-state and out-of-state events, and has even been featured in a full-length documentary film entitled Behold a Pale Horse – America’s Last Chance.

Our organization has been featured at several national conferences, including three Freedom 21 Conferences.

Recognizing the importance of a well-informed electorate[2], we have developed (and copyrighted) an in-depth grassroots-training program entitled Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process.

These training programs, conducted several times a year, serve to educate everyday citizens about the legislative process, and have improved the effectiveness of other grassroots organizations in this state.

Attendees come away with a working knowledge of how the legislative process works, better able to distinguish good policy from bad, and with an understanding of how to decipher political double-speak.

OK-SAFE needs your help in fighting “Obama Care” in this state.   

Additionally, we need your support in order to address other critical issues.

Over the last 8 years, OK-SAFE has researched and helped expose such issues as the Trans-Texas Corridor; the REAL ID Act and the collection of biometrics; subversive data collection and surveillance systems; and the political agenda known as Sustainable Development

OK-SAFE Goals and Objectives

We plan to continue and expand our work exposing those policies that undermine the rights of the individual; that hinder our ability to enjoy our inherent rights to life, liberty and property; and that interfere in the traditional free enterprise system.  

We will be taking our internet radio show, America in the Balance, live, enabling us to reach a wider audience with the truth.

Seeing the value in last year’s successful Research Summit, we plan to make this an annual event, inviting the best and brightest in the research field to attend – credible researchers willing to share and network with each other to help get the facts out there so real decisions can be made.  This “sharing of intelligence” serves us all, especially when addressing the key issues facing our country and state today.

We plan to do more outreach and training classes to help increase the effectiveness of Oklahoma’s grassroots groups.

All of this takes financial resources to make happen.

Please help us continue and expand our work in Oklahoma by DONATING TO OK-SAFE’s JULY 4TH MONEY BOMB!  [Click HERE to donate.]


[1] In November of 2010 SQ 756 passed overwhelmingly.  This constitutional amendment was referred to as the Oklahoma Health Care Freedom Amendment, and added a new section of law to the State Constitution – Section 37 to Article 2. It defined “health care system.” This section prohibits making a person participate in a health care system.

[2]Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”  The infusion of knowledge and an enlightened citizenry are essential elements required to maintain liberty.

June 21, 2012

Elderly patients ‘helped to die to free up beds’, UK doctor warns

“Obama Care” has provisions similar to this – aimed at those long-term care facilities in the U.S.

From the UK’s Daily Telegraph:

NHS hospitals are using end-of-life care to help elderly patients to die because they are difficult to look after and take up valuable beds, a top doctor has warned.

By Donna Bowater

20 Jun 2012

 Professor Patrick Pullicino has claimed that doctors are using a care pathway designed to help make people’s final days more comfortable as an equivalent to euthanasia.

The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is used in hospitals for patients who are terminally ill or are expected to die imminently. Under the pathway, doctors can withdraw treatment, food and water while patients are heavily sedated.

Almost a third of patients – 130,000 – who die in hospital or under NHS care a year are on the LCP.

Professor Pullicino said he believed the LCP was being used as an “assisted death pathway” with patients placed on the LCP without clear evidence, according to the the Daily Mail.

The senior consultant at East Kent Hospitals told the Royal Society of Medicine he had personally intervened to have a 71-year-old man taken off the LCP and be treated successfully, despite claims he was expected to die within hours or days. He had arrived in hospital with pneumonia and epilepsy.

Rest of article here.

March 26, 2012

Obama admits GOP Governors Suing Against Obama Care are Helping him “…behind the scenes…”

Filed under: Education — Tags: , , , , , , — oksafeinc @ 4:57 pm

As in many other states, conservative grassroots organizations have ended up fighting against establishment Republican party members in order to stop the progressives’ take-over of health care.

In this case, Kansans have been discovering to what degree Republican Governor Sam Brownback has been playing both sides of the issue.

This from Richard Fry of SOCK (Stop Obama Care in Kansas), a Kansas group pushing back against “Obama Care” in that state for the last year:

Obama admits GOP Governors Suing Against Obama Care are Helping him “…behind the scenes…”

Obama has now admitted that “…some of those [GOP Governors] who filed suit [against Obama Care] are actually behind the scenes working with us to prepare for a day when we’ve got exchanges in these states….” I’ve been ringing that bell since June that Gov.  Brownback’s implementing OC by stealth was part of a national plan involving GOP Govs.  (NOTE: OC=Obama Care)

At that time I identified Oklahoma and Indiana. Now we have identified this happening in South Carolina, Mississippi and South Dakota. They were all using the same game plan. First they tried by stealth (like Brownback) then they made the same excuses as Brownback did i.e., OC is “…an unconstitutional law but the law of the land…”, “… we can do it our way not the OC way…”, “a state exchange will give us more flexibility…” and after being forced to give back the federal EIG, finding “alternate” sources of funding. Then the Governor simply rams it through via his administration as is happening in Oklahoma and South Dakota.

They used “controlled opposition”, in Kansas by Rep. Landwehr, Sen. Cook and Bev Gossage. Gossage stated “there is no such thing as a good insurance exchange” and kept saying “the governor just needs to be educated.” Now she denies that the Governor is in fact implementing OC when an examination of the contract and funding documents could allow no one to conclude otherwise.  

In Gossage’s defense, the last time I asked her she had not even read the current funding rule and I am not sure she reviewed the KMED now called KEES contract.  

They also used “controlled confusion” i.e., the Governor says we are doing an “insurance exchange” while the Lt. Gov tells us we are not doing it among other deceptive activity.

It is interesting to note that this technique of jointly employing “controlled opposition” and “controlled confusion” was used to get the NDAA through Congress and to now defend it. NDAA is the most direct and comprehensive attack on our Liberty in over one hundred years.

 If the President justifies NDAA to employ his National Defense Resource Preparedness Executive Order such might very well be used to brush aside all protests and  implement, under our current national “ emergency”, both Obama Care and the current version of Real ID. Then we will all be unwillingly plugged into the global information data hub.

 

 Thanks globalist Gov, this silent coup d’état was supported by you.

Richard D. Fry

The Intolerable Acts

www.theintolerableacts.org

816 853 8718

March 9, 2012

Insurance Exchange Bill on “Hold” Pending Supreme Court Action – OK Senate Changes Mind on SB 1629??

OK-SAFE, Inc. – In a very interesting move the OK Senate on Thursday (3/8/12) issued a press release stating that, “legislative leaders and the chairmen of the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law have opted to wait until the outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings before moving further forward with SB 1629.”

SB 1629 would have established the “Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust”, governed by an appointed Board, that would administer a premium assistance plan (low income insurance, Medicaid), and assist small businesses and/or employees to purchase employer-sponsored insurance.

In other words, a state-based insurance exchange, tying users of Medicaid and private insurance together; a sort of public/private partnership exchange.

But, those phone calls, emails, in-person lobbying, and robo calls, all objecting to an insurance exchange (state-based or otherwise), paid off.   One bad bill has been stopped.

For now.

Score one for the people of Oklahoma!

However, in politics, there is always a Plan B.   What Oklahomans can expect is some other tactic being used to achieve the same end – the establishment of some sort of web-based insurance exchange in the state of Oklahoma, that will tie into the health information exchange, which is being advanced by the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (or OHIET), unstopped.

What may happen is the utilization of the existing HUB law (HB 2026 in 2009) passed a few years ago, to create an exchange, possibly bidding out some service to a third party.  (See details below press release.)

Send Thank Yous

If you would like to send a thank you for putting SB 1629 on hold, you may want to contact the following legislators, in addition to your own Senator:

  • Senator Brian Bingman – bingman@oksenate.gov
  • Senator Gary Stanislawski – stanislawski@oksenate.gov
  • Rep. Kris Steele – krissteele@okhouse.gov
  • Rep. Glen Mulready – mulready@oksenate.gov

 

Below is the text of the 3/8/12 Press Release, issued jointly by Senate and House leadership.

Oklahoma State Legislature

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2012

SB 1629 is on hold pending Supreme Court action

The Legislature will wait until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the federal health care law before proceeding with Senate Bill 1629, legislators announced Thursday.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this summer, perhaps as early as June, on a legal challenge brought by several states alleging the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

Should the high court overturn the law, the possibility exists that health insurance exchanges would not be necessary. And should the high court uphold the federal law, nuances within the majority opinion could help legislators craft the most effective Oklahoma-based marketplace possible to defend against the imposition of a federal exchange.

Given these dynamics, legislative leaders and the chairmen of the Joint Committee of Federal Health Care Law have opted to wait until the outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings before moving further forward with SB 1629. If the court upholds the law, the Legislature is already prepared to continue defending against federal intervention into the Oklahoma health care market.

“There are many common-sense solutions conservatives can agree on to lower the cost of healthcare, expand access and choices to more individuals, and increase the quality of our care – all through tried-and-true principles of the free market,” said Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law.

“These are ideas worth pursuing, and we eagerly await the Supreme Court’s repeal of ObamaCare so we can begin the very serious business of addressing our healthcare challenges with solutions that expand freedom instead of government,” Stanislawski said.

The Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law met five times throughout the interim to determine the effect the law will have on Oklahoma. Among its recommendations was to craft a state-based marketplace in order to prevent the federal government from imposing a federal exchange in Oklahoma.

“If the court doesn’t reject this law as we hope, developing a state-based exchange remains our best defense against unwanted federal intervention,” said Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, the committee’s other co-chairman. “We think we have fashioned a good plan. We are willing to wait to ensure we have the best possible solution to protect Oklahoma from federal intervention.”

Legislative leaders supported the committee co-chairmen’s decision.

“Republicans in the state Senate will do everything in our power to block ObamaCare in Oklahoma. When President Obama rammed through a trillion dollar unconstitutional assault on the healthcare freedom of Oklahomans, he proved his values are fundamentally at odds with ours,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa. “The fight to preserve healthcare freedom is far from over.”

“Developing a state-based solution has always been and remains the best, most realistic way to defend against a federal exchange. The reality is we’re not yet at the point where we absolutely have to deploy that defense,” said House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee. “Should the time come, we’ll be prepared to act thanks to the groundwork the committee has laid for us.”

For more information, contact:
Nathan Atkins
405.521.5605
atkins@oksenate.gov

John Estus
405.962.7674 desk, 405.706.0084 cell
john.estus@okhouse.gov

Title 36, Section 4601 – 4603:

Article 46 – Health Care for Oklahomans Act

§ 4601. Short Title

§ 4602. Duties of Health Care for the Uninsured Board

§ 4603. Program to Encourage Individuals to Enroll in Health Insurance Programs – Referral of Uninsured Individuals to the HUB

This is the section of law last year’s HB 2130 was attempting to amend.  This will bear watching for the rest of this session.

 

March 1, 2012

SB 1629 – Exchange “Marketplace” Bill Models ObamaCare

OK-SAFE, Inc. – Things are “getting curiouser and curiouser” in the Oklahoma legislature.  According to some Senate Republicans, if you’re against “ObamaCare,” you would be for a bill implementing “ObamaCare.”

Alice in Wonderland  pretty well sums up what it felt like when SB 1629 was being presented by Tulsa Senator Gary Stanislawski.   To read a great parable about the Senate’s Health and Human Services committee meeting see the Oklahomans for Liberty site here.)

For the record, OK-SAFE opposes legislation that facilitates the implementation of “ObamaCare” health reform, and therefore opposes SB 1629, establishing a state-based exchange called a marketplace.

Senate Bill 1629 by Pro-Tem Brian Bingman, which passed by a vote of 7-2 on Monday,  would establish the very insurance exchange, or “marketplace” model called for in the PPACA, aka “ObamaCare.” Even though the Republican members of the Senate Health and Human Services committee said they oppose “ObamaCare,” not one of them voted against SB 1629, or even mentioned the actual content of the bill,  which included the creation of yet another trust to oversee the exchange/marketplace.

The word marketplace is alternately used to describe an exchange; the word exchange has now become too notorious to use.  Curiously, Sen. Tom Adelson has submitted an amendment to the bill, nullifying it if the Supreme Court shoots down PPACA, or if a new Congress does.

The Individual Mandate

Most of the questions in this committee were about the “individual mandate” (not included in the bill.) A fraction of the Affordable Care is about the individual mandate; most of the rest of the bill deals with items such as the exchanges and the reconfiguration of the insurance market.

The committee members either hadn’t read the bill, or they were working from talking points or a summary; they did not discuss what the bill actually says.

SB 1629 Creates a Marketplace/Exchange and Another Trust – The Middle Man Model

SB 1629 creates a public-beneficiary Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust.   [See diagram below]

This Marketplace Network Trust would (initially) do two things: 1) take over and administer the premium assistance program (Insure Oklahoma) from the OK Health Care Authority, and 2) “develop and implement a marketplace assistance program to assist small businesses in the offering of employer-sponsored insurance purchased from the private market insurance carriers.” (In other words, an insurance exchange.)

This new trust has a twin called the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust, or OHIET.  Created by  stealth in the last week of session in 2010, the OHIET is busy establishing the network of networks that facilitate the transfer of electronic health records everywhere.

Why would insurers be advocates for an exchange?  “Insurance companies are urging state officials to set up exchanges because they generally prefer state regulation.  In addition, they stand to gain because the United States Treasury will send subsidy payments directly to insurers on behalf of low- and moderate-income people who enroll in health plans offered through an exchange.”(National Center for Policy Analysis article here.)

Kinda explains SB 1629 doesn’t it?

The Model as Devised by SB 1629This diagram depicts the middle-man model. (For a great explanation of the not-free-market model, see the Vicky Davis article entitled The Model IS the Message.)

OK-SAFE Summary of the Bill:

  • Section 1 of the bill describes the legislative intent: to expand the “mission” of Insure Oklahoma by “moving the administration of the Insure Oklahoma program from the purview of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to a state public trust established in this act.”

Translation: they’re moving management of government-sponsored insurance from one state bureaucracy to a newly created one.

  •  Section 2 establishes the new trust – B. The Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust shall be established as a state-beneficiary public trust.
  •  Translation: Oklahoma (government) is the beneficiary of the trust.
  • Section 2 defines the trust governance:  C. The Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust shall be governed by a Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Board.

Translation: This section increases the power of the Executive branch due to powers of appointment; Fallin would get to appoint most of the Board members.  Board members are unelected and not accountable to the public.

  • Of the 7-member board Governor Fallin would appoint three  members, the Pro-Tem and the Speaker each appoint one; the other two are Insurance Commissioner John Doak and Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Terry Cline (also appointed by Fallin.)
  •  C. …The board of trustees shall consist of seven (7) members as follows:
  1. One member appointed by the Governor representing health insurance carriers granted a certificate of authority by the Oklahoma Department of Insurance;
  2. One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives representing consumers and who has purchased policies through the Trust or is reasonably expected to purchase policies through the Trust;
  3. One member appointed by the Governor who shall be a health care provider;
  4. One member appointed by the Governor who shall be a representative of employer groups;
  5. One member appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate who shall be an insurance agent or broker;
  6. The Insurance Commissioner – (John Doak)
  7. The Secretary of Health and Human Services- (Terry Cline).
  •  F. The board of trustees shall promulgate rules as necessary to implement the provisions of the act.

Translation: The appointed board will be insiders, and they can make the rules for the trust, not the legislature.  Also the board members elect the Executive Director, who will likely be Dr. Cline – just as was proposed in HB 2130 the HUB bill.

  • Section 4 is New Law authorizing trust to administer a premium assistance program for low-income individuals, and to assist small businesses (up to 250 employees for a for- profit; up to 500 employees for a not-for-profit).  This was the Insure Oklahoma section, being defined for the trust.
  • Section 5 reads in part:  A. The Health Insurance Private Marketplace Network Trust is authorized to develop and implement a marketplace assistance program to assist small businesses in the offering of employer-sponsored insurance purchased from private market insurance carriers which shall go into effect January 1, 2014. 
  • E. The board of trustees shall, by rule, determine the funding mechanism for the marketplace assistance program authorized in subsection A of this section

Translation: The new trust is given full authority to develop and implement the exchange (oops, marketplace) in any manner they see fit. The board of trustees can make any rules they’d like to govern the funding mechanism.  Nothing in this section prohibits the trust from seeking federal funding, including federal grants that are available for states to develop an exchange – one was called the Early Innovator Grant, remember?

  • Section 6 severs Insure Oklahoma from the OHCA, and gives it to the trust.  Section 7 deals with waivers.

 

  • And finally,  Section 8 of the bill reads:  NEW LAW   A new section of law not to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes reads as follows:
    The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is hereby directed to seek any and all Federal approval necessary to implement the provisions of this act.

This really shows the legislative intent.  Federal approval.  And Stanislawski said it would not be “ObamaCare” compliant?  Want to bet?

[Aside: One wonders how and where that 40% excise tax will fit in once that becomes effective by 2018?]

Call Your Senator and Say NO to ObamaCare SB 1629

OK Senate Switch board: 1-800-865-6490, or 1-405-524-0126

Republican Senators who voted Yes in Committee for SB 1629 on 2/27/12:

  1. Senator Brian Bingman:                 1-405-521-5528                 Email: bingman@oksenate.gov
  2. Senator Gary Stanislawski:           1-405-521-5624                 Email: Stanislawski@oksenate.gov
  3. Senator Rick Brinkley:                    1-405-521-5602                 Email:Brinkley@oksenate.gov
  4. Senator Brian Crain:                        1-405-521-5620                 Email: crain@oksenate.gov
  5. Senator Rob Johnson:                    1-405-521-5592                 Email: johnsonr@oksenate.gov
  6. Senator Dan Newberry:                1-405-521-5600                 Email: newberry@oksenate.gov
  7. Senator Steve Russell:                   1-405-521-5618                 Email: Russell@oksenate.gov
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