Democratic state chairman lauds federal health insurance bill

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 23-Mar-2010

Chairman Todd Goodman of the Oklahoma Democratic party on Monday afternoon (March 22) issued a statement praising passage of federal health care reform 

“On Sunday, the U.S. House of Representatives stood up and took courageous action to enact health insurance reforms that will benefit hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans, and millions of Americans,” Goodman said in prepared comments send to CapitolBeatOK.

“This legislation incorporates hundreds of ideas from Republicans and Democrats alike and is the result of lengthy bipartisan negotiations. It will extend affordable and fair coverage to millions of Americans, even while reducing the deficit by more than $100 billion in the next ten years. I am grateful to everyone who came to the table to make health insurance more affordable and more accessible to Oklahoma families.

“Long after the debates of the last year fade into history, the benefits of this legislation will remain. Health care decisions will be put back into the hands of families, not insurance companies. Insurance companies will no longer be permitted to deny coverage to children and adults due to a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies will no longer be permitted to kick children off their parent’s health insurance when they turn 18. And insurance companies will no longer be permitted to drop insurance for hard-working people all across the country because they get sick.”

Goodman criticized Oklahoma Republican legislators  for comments made Monday, saying they had put on “partisan blinders,” saying they had declared the new legislation “unconstitutional – even before reading the bill themselves.” Goodman continued, “This legislation incorporates some of the ideas our state pioneered with our Insure Oklahoma program and builds on its successes. It will cut fraud and abuse from Medicare and Medicaid, saving millions in tax dollars. It will crack down on bureaucratic waste by private insurers. And it will do all this without compromising quality of care.”

In related news, Attorney General Drew Edmondson told The Oklahoman he would not be “stampeded” into taking a legal position one way or the other on the legislation. He remarked there were “some people playing politics with this issue.” In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK on Monday, Edmondson disclosed a Sunday conference call with other state attorneys general concerned about the bill, saying he would review the new law’s provisions after it gains President Barack Obama’s signature.