Doak, Insurance hopeful, criticizes Commissioner Holland on claims fee
Patrick B. McGuigan
John Doak of Tulsa, a candidate for Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner, has criticized incumbent Commissioner Kim Holland, a Tulsan now living in Oklahoma City, for not taking a earlier stance against a new state law that places a 1 percent levy on health insurance claims.
Doak said he expressed opposition to H.B. 2437 in late May, due to concerns over “the damage it will do to Oklahoma families and businesses.” He called on Governor Brad Henry to veto the bill “for the sake of Oklahoma insurance customers and our health care providers.” Henry signed the bill, which has the support of Republican legislative leaders.
On July 10, Doak started a petition to repeal House Bill 2437. Since starting this grassroots campaign, he said in a press release, hundreds of concerned Oklahomans have signed the petition.
While supporters of the measure contend it is a fee, and not a tax increase, Holland asserted in recent legal briefs before the state Supreme Court her belief the levy is in fact a tax hike.
Doak has asserted Holland was “silent throughout the entire process” at the Capitol. The bill was a “shell bill” without any specifics until May 21, when it was removed from the control of its original principal author and first given substantive provisions.
CapitolBeatOK has reported H.B. 2437 “followed a labyrinthine path to passage in the Legislature.” It cleared its first procedural hurdle shortly before the deadline for consideration of revenue proposals, and was not put into final form until the final days of the session.
Holland, a Democrat who is seeking reelection and state Rep. Ken Miller a Republican candidate for state Treasurer, were among the first state elected officials to contend the measure was unconstitutional.
In her briefs, Holland says the measure is a tax hike that violates the constitution, that it is contrary to a requirement that revenue bills must be enacted before the last five days of the session, and that it violates a cluster of important federal legal requirements.
State Sen. Randy Brogdon of Owasso opposed the measure passionately on the floor of the Senate, saying it would hurt vulnerable citizens financially, and issued a strong criticism of the measure in the final hours of the session. He voted against the measure and reiterated his views in an email to CapitolBeatOK last week. Brogdon is seeking the Republican gubernatorial nomination, contending against U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin and two others.
On July 10, 2010 Doak started a petition to repeal House Bill 2437. Since starting this grassroots campaign, he said in a press release, hundreds of concerned Oklahomans have signed the petition.
On July 20, 2010 Holland filed a petition with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to block the collection of a new tax on health plans mandated by the legislature. Doak asserts, “She could have intervened at several steps in the process of the passage and eventual signing of this bill into law, but she didn’t.”
Doak is an ardent critic of “ObamaCare.” He also has criticized Holland, a Democrat, for serving as a delegate to the 2010 national party convention.
Doak faces former Commissioner John Crawford of Oklahoma City and Mark Croucher of Jenks in the Tuesday, July 27 primary.