Newberry applauds approval of ObamaCare opt-out law

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 08-Nov-2010

Sen. Dan Newberry on Monday (November 8) said he was very pleased with the strong support voters gave to a state constitutional amendment that will permit Oklahoma to opt-out of the new federal health care legislation, widely dubbed “ObamaCare.” 

Newberry was the Senate author of legislation that placed the amendment before Oklahoma voters. In the November 2 general election, the referred measure gained overwhelming approval, 638,530 (64.73%) to  347,956 (35.27%) against.

“I’m pleased by the outcome of the vote, and consider it a victory for the state of Oklahoma,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa.  “The voters have made their voices heard loud and clear in Washington. Oklahomans sent a clear message that this intrusive federal mandate is a step too far.”

State Question 756  is a state constitutional amendment prohibiting forced participation in the Federal health care system.  The amendment states that Oklahomans will not be financially penalized if they choose not to purchase insurance mandated by the federal health care plan and that doctors shall still be allowed to accept direct payment for services without fear of financial penalty.

Outgoing state Rep. Mike Thompson of Oklahoma City, who ran unsuccessfully for the Fifth District Congressional seat, was also a leading advocate of the measure. Thompson and Newberry were highly critical of Attorney General Drew Edmondson’s “gist” (summary) statement on the proposition, believing it was designed to elicit opposition to the measure.

Another leading advocate of the measure has been state Rep. Mike Ritze of Broken Arrow, one of only two physicians in the Legislature this past year.

“Voters overwhelmingly chose to take an important step forward in defense of their freedom of choice this week,” Newberry said.  “It is very important that we allow our Attorney General to defend our rights in this matter.  I’m proud that Oklahoma voters stood against this drastic turn toward a socialized medical system.”

Newberry had worked in closing weeks of the recent campaign with John Doak, a Republican candidate for Commissioner of Insurance, to bolster “yes” votes on S.Q. 756.

NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.