Legislators applaud decision slamming ‘ObamaCare’
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
State Rep. Mark McCullough recently represented Oklahoma at a National Conference of State Legislatures forum, giving voice to the state’s opposition to the new federal health care law, even before the measure’s controversial individual mandates were found unconstitutional.
“This was a great opportunity to serve as the ‘loyal opposition’ on a national stage and give voice to the many concerns Oklahomans have about the new federal health care law,” said McCullough, a Sapulpa Republican.
The National Conference of State Legislatures serves the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states, providing research and technical assistance to policymakers on state issues and advocating for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies.
The recent NCSL panel included representatives from Nebraska, which McCullough noted is taking a “middle of the road” approach to the new health care law, and Vermont, where officials are “going whole hog” in support.
“It was important for opponents of the new law to have a voice on this panel, and I was proud to serve in that role,” McCullough said. “In Oklahoma, we have been in full-fledge revolt against this overreaching federal law. We have passed a Freedom of Health Choice Act, incoming Attorney General Scott Pruitt plans to join the national lawsuit fighting ObamaCare, and state officials recently met with a national health care expert from the conservative Heritage Foundation to discuss additional strategies for resisting and otherwise managing the new law on terms favorable to Oklahoma. Our state is not going to passively sit back and allow our freedom to be taken away.”
In a release about the NCSL panel sent to CapitolBeatOK on Wednesday (December 15), McCullough said the panel discussion also included a focus on Medicaid costs, which are expected to skyrocket for states under the new federal law. Some states are considering changing the program to a premium-support model similar to an HMO, while others are even considering opting out of the program entirely.
“Oklahoma’s Medicaid costs are expected to increase by close to a half-billion dollars in the next 10 years under Obamacare,” McCullough noted. “That is the equivalent of creating another Department of Corrections. If we do not get this program under control and repeal the new federal law, it could bankrupt us.”
McCullough currently serves as a Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee on Health Care for NCSL.
In related news, state Rep. Glen Mulready also praised the Virginia federal court ruling, but cautioned that it would not be enough.
“Having worked for 27 years in the insurance industry, I have been acutely aware of the many problems inherent in the new federal health care law,” Mulready, a Tulsa Republican, said. “Though I am pleased to see a federal court recognize that the insurance mandate clearly violates the U.S. Constitution, I believe that the legislation does quite a bit of harm even without it and must be fully repealed.”
U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that the government cannot require people to buy insurance, declaring that provision of the new federal health care law to be unconstitutional. The case is expected to be appealed and eventually go before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mulready argued, in a release sent to CapitolBeatOK, that the new law was created in a way that its many components work together and so could be more dangerous if only parts of it are kept.
“Though I don’t think the new law works at all, I think it could even do more damage if only this one part – the insurance mandate – goes,” Mulready said.
“The ruling was certainly a victory, but we must not let it make us complacent to the consequences of the rest of the law. If only this piece is removed, it may lead us more quickly to that which we are trying to avoid – government takeover of our health care system.”
Mulready has spent 27 years in the insurance industry. He has served as an executive with Oklahoma’s two largest health insurers and as a broker/consultant for companies trying to maximize their benefit dollars. Mulready has also served on numerous state task forces in the health insurance and health care arena.
“Judge Hudson’s ruling was a move in the right direction, we just need to ensure that we continue our efforts in that direction,” Mulready said.