Governor Fallin describes push to “fast track” bills, including H.B. 2130

In a Blue Room press conference with members of the state Capitol press corps, Governor Mary Fallin today (Monday, March 28) said she had asked Senate Republicans to “fast track” their consideration of her priorities, including at least one proposal that has provoked criticisms from some of her conservative base. 

 Describing meetings held Monday with members of the Republican caucus in both the House and Senate, the governor said she had asked senators for quick movement on several measures that have cleared the House, including House Bill 2130, creating an Oklahoma health care exchange board. 

 In her discussion of the exchange enabling measure, which has recently divided members of the GOP (Grand Old Party), Fallin stressed her record as a conservative who opposed the federal health care law she and others characterize as “ObamaCare.” 

 Governor Fallin said, “Oklahoma wants to design its own system.” She pointed to her record in Congress, where she opposed the law when it passed last year. She believes the federal law is unconstitutional and has supported the efforts of Attorney General Scott Pruitt to challenge its mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance.

 “I hope the Supreme Court overturns the law. There are efforts in Congress that might lead to its repeal. I hope those succeed. But as of today, the federal health care plan is the law of the land,” Fallin said. The governor said the exchange idea emerged from groups like the Heritage Foundation, a leading think tank in the nation’s capitol. 

 Fallin said the state must have a plan in place by 2013, or it risks leaving the state’s health insurance market subject to a federal design under “ObamaCare.” She restated support she emphasized last week for creation of the exchange board required under the federal law. 

 Fallin contended, “A vote against House Bill 2130 would be a vote to allow ObamaCare to come to Oklahoma. I don’t want that.”

 Fallin pointed to Dr. Terry Cline, her secretary of health and human services, and thanked him for the “stakeholder meetings” has held around the state with some 200 entities that would be involved in any health care exchange. She said Cline is working to find what best serves consumer needs. She restated her belief that “an Oklahoma solution is a free market solution.” She added she has told legislators, “If you do nothing, in essence you’re voting for ObamaCare to come to Oklahoma.”