For Immediate Release
December 20, 2011
Contact: Trav Robertson
Phone: 405-427-3366


Governor’s Executive Order Eliminates Healthcare for Babies & Newborns

Oklahoma City, OK– State Democratic Party Vice-Chair, Dana Orwig and Party Treasurer, Donna Russell posed this question today when it was discovered that Governor Mary Fallin and Insurance Commissioner John Doak created and signed an emergency rule (365:10-1-15) eliminating birth as a “qualifying event” for individual healthcare coverage.

Treasurer Russell stated, “Simply put, this leaves an infant uninsured and the parents, not their insurance companies, responsible for ALL hospital charges. Fallin and Doak sold out our state’s newborns to the insurance industry. What happens to preemies or babies with high bilirubin? As a former teacher I believe this is the most irresponsible attack on our children I have ever witnessed.”

According to the Oklahoma Department of Health, the delivery of a premature child can cost approximately $64,000.00. The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy asserts that Oklahoma ranks 5th highest in teen birth rates and 4th highest in child deaths.

“Fallin’s actions have the stench of hypocrisy. She claims to be pro-life and in one single moment she puts the life of every single newborn in danger and every family into potential bankruptcy…as a member of the clergy, I find her actions immoral,” Orwig stated.

Both officers concluded, “This is a pattern of behavior by Republicans, using the insurance industry as a whole to mislead Oklahomans on how to plan for their futures properly. As mothers, we cannot believe that Republican Governor Fallin and Republican Commissioner Doak, who claim to support family values, do not have the moral compass to protect those who cannot control the circumstances into which they are born. It is reprehensible to stick hard-working Oklahomans with the bill and they should reverse this order immediately.”