OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Josh Cockroft today praised Gov. Mary Fallin’s announcement that Oklahoma would reject the expansion of our state Medicaid program as provided for in the federal healthcare reform law and would not begin implementation of an insurance exchange as required under the law.
“I applaud Governor Fallin for listening to the vast majority of her constituents in making this wise decision. In 2010, nearly 65 percent of Oklahomans voted to oppose the federal government’s takeover of our health care system and Governor Fallin’s decision today reinforces those wishes,” Cockroft said.
The Tecumseh lawmaker said claims that the choice was between a state-run exchange or a federally run one were false.
“The reality is that a ‘state’ exchange would not truly be run by the state. Anytime we deal with federal funding, the process is dictated by the guidelines set by the federal government. This means we really wouldn’t get any true input. I want Oklahoma to have control over our health care system, not Washington, D.C.,” Cockroft said.
Cockroft said the state can’t afford the Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act.
“We cannot afford the financial burden that expanding Medicaid would bring on the state. An additional half a billion dollars in the next eight years is an irresponsible and foolish burden to take on. It would require further cuts to vital areas of state government such as education, public safety and transportation,” Cockroft said.
“We must continue standing behind Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s ongoing legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act and searching for local, Oklahoma-grown solutions for the problems we face.”