For Immediate Release
November 26, 2012
Contact: Trav Robertson


Governor Mary Fallin Refuses to Release Decision Guiding Emails

Oklahoma City– Governor Mary Fallin continues to play politics with the lives of Oklahomans by refusing to implement a Health Insurance Exchange from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and now she is hiding her emails that informed her decision from the public.

“It’s a trust issue,” said Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Wallace Collins. “If we cannot trust her to tell us the reason why she will not implement the health insurance exchange, it makes you wonder, what is she hiding?”

Governor Fallin had previously accepted $54 million from the Federal Government to set up this exchange, but due to pressure from the tea party she returned the funds. Plus, Attorney General Scott Pruitt continues to waste taxpayer dollars in a frivolous lawsuit that is trying to keep Oklahomans from enjoying the benefits of the ACA.

Without the Affordable Care Act, a child born with asthma, autism, or Asperger’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 previously mentioned. President Obama eliminated the pre-existing condition loophole! 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!

Other positive benefits of ACA include an elimination of retroactive cancellations, meaning that an insurance company could no longer raise your premiums or cancel your policy just because you filed a claim, or accidentally left out information that had no bearing on your health. The Act also prevents higher co-pays or co-insurance for out-of-network emergency room services. Additionally, insurance companies must spend at least 80% of your premium dollars on coverage, not for exorbitant CEO salaries and benefits. What’s not to like?

The reality is that the Affordable Care Act is a very good deal for Oklahoma, since the Federal Government will pay 100% of the cost for the first three years, and 90% of the cost in 2020 and every year after that.

In addition, Medicaid expansion could save Oklahoma money, since Medicaid will pay for expenditures that are currently paid for with State money in Departments such as Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and Corrections. One has to wonder what is the motivation by the Republican leaders of Oklahoma to deny us participation in the President’s health care initiative?

Oklahoma ranks near last place in overall health of our people in the country. According to the United Health Foundation, there are high prevalences of diabetes, smoking, obesity, limited availability of primary care physicians, and low use of prenatal care. Governor Fallin has outright attacked Oklahoma families by signing executive orders, such as the emergency rule (365:10-1-15) which denies newborns the right to be covered by their parents health insurance starting at birth.

“She is going to leave at least 150,000 Oklahomans in an insurance hole with no coverage!” Chairman Collins continued, “It is morally wrong for the Governor to deny Oklahomans access to health care.”