With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘ObamaCare debacle’

OKLAHOMA CITY – As of Wednesday, only 346 Oklahomans had successfully maneuvered the healthcare.gov website to select a health insurance plan through the federal insurance marketplace.

U.S. Rep. James Lankford pointed out, “More people drove through my local Sonic in Oklahoma City today at lunch than have signed up for Obamacare in Oklahoma since October 1.”

Nationwide, the 106,000 who have signed up is far short of the numbers U.S. officials had projected. 

Leaders of the Sooner State united after the news broke yesterday to decry what some have termed “the ObamaCare debacle.”

“Once again, we see more evidence that ObamaCare just doesn’t work,” said Oklahoma Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton. “This legislation has been one disaster after another. People are losing their current health coverage, premiums are going up and nothing we have seen has shown anything ‘affordable’ about the Affordable Health Care Act,” Shannon told Oklahoma Watchdog.

The House leader, who has passionately supported Gov. Mary Fallin’s position opposed to Medicaid expansion along the lines envisioned in the Affordable Care Act, concluded, “As I have said many times, the bottom line is government shouldn’t be dictating health insurance coverage and socializing our health care system.”

In a statement sent to Oklahoma Watchdog, Gov. Fallin said:

“Virtually everything this White House has told the American people about Obamacare has proven to be false. The president said the law would lower the cost of health insurance, but we know that state employees in Oklahoma are seeing their premiums rise by as much as 12 percent. He said if you liked your health insurance plan you could keep it. We now know for millions of Americans that has proven to be untrue.

“Many of the people who are losing coverage are sick. In Oklahoma, for example, there are over 800 men and women with preexisting health conditions enrolled in the temporary high-risk pool. All of them will lose their coverage by the end of the year. If the exchange is not functioning properly by December, they will find themselves uninsured. These are the people who most need our assistance, and yet they are being left high and dry by the incompetence of this administration.

“Everything about the disastrous launch of Healthcare.gov reinforces what many Oklahomans have been saying for years: Obamacare is an unworkable and unaffordable train wreck. It is clear that even some supporters of the law, like former President Bill Clinton, are now reaching that same conclusion.”

Rep. Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, contrasted the 346 who were “able to navigate the website and choose the plan” with “the tens of thousands of individuals and companies in our state that have received cancellation notices on plans they liked and wanted to keep.”

Jonathan Small, vice president of policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, told Oklahoma Watchdog, the news of “woeful participation” serves as “a testament to the fact that Gov. Fallin and Oklahoma leaders made the right decision when they insisted we not participate in the Medicaid expansion. This demonstrates what a complete and utter failure the law is, and how untrustworthy the Obama administration is. Oklahoma should stick its present course. We agree with the governor. The whole ObamaCare plan is a debacle.” 

Contact Pat at Patrick@capitolbeatok.com