The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

February 13, 2013

Emails show change in Okla. health exchange policy

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY — ‘Obamacare will taint you’

Former state Sen. Randy Brogdon, a deputy commissioner under Doak, publicly protested a state-based exchange but not in his capacity at the department.

Rather, Brogdon was listed as the lead author of an email in March sent out by the Tulsa County Republican Platform Committee that called on Fallin to return the $54 million in federal funds.

Brogdon was the only senior adviser in the Insurance Department who was opposed to building a state-based exchange, according to emails.

“On the surface a state exchange sounds like a better choice, but ultimately I believe a state exchange will usher in full fledge Obamacare to Oklahoma,” he wrote in a policy paper prepared by the department.

Brogdon could not be reached for comment Friday.

The emails demonstrate top Doak advisers were concerned that his acceptance of federal dollars might put him in a bind. In dozens of emails they encouraged him to walk a fine line between opposing Obama’s plan and pushing for a state-based exchange.

“There could be serious political repercussions for being involved in the implementation of the exchange,” wrote Rick Farmer, another deputy commissioner, in a policy paper shared via email. “A large part of your political success was the overwhelming opposition of Oklahomans to this overreaching, federal incursion. Implementing Obamacare will taint you.”

In another email, Farmer asked the Heritage Foundation, another conservative think tank, to write opinion pieces for newspapers in Tulsa and Oklahoma City that would explain why the grants and exchanges are OK, saying, “we are getting beat up pretty hard here in Oklahoma.”

Rep. Mike Ritze said on Friday that he would attribute the sudden change of plans more to pressure by “boots on the ground” — Oklahoma residents and lawmakers who did not want Fallin to pursue an exchange.

Ritze said several large rallies at the Capitol encouraged many top policymakers to reconsider the effort.

“The biggest concern would be the exchanges leading to a kind of backdoor approach to Obamacare,” he said.

Text Only
National and world
  • Health overhaul web.jpg Dueling rulings: Courts split on health law clash

    But the split rulings don’t necessarily mean another trip to the Supreme Court for the Affordable Care Act.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Georgia web.jpg Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Tuesday night’s primary runoff win validates Perdue’s campaign as an outsider.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ODD Brooklyn Bridge M_Hass.jpg Police probing switch of flags on Brooklyn Bridge

    Video footage of the security breach shows the unidentified people walking on the bridge's footpath at about 3:10 a.m., and 20 minutes later the light on the bridge's Brooklyn tower flickers and goes dark. The same thing happens about 12 minutes later on the Manhattan tower.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veterans Health_Hass.jpg Obama nominee McDonald pledges to ‘transform’ VA

    Robert McDonald cited problems with patient access to health care, transparency, accountability and integrity, among other issues, during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee over his nomination today.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Immigration Overload_Hass.jpg 2008 law unexpectedly at center of border debate

    "The 2008 law creates a process that made sense when you're talking about a limited number of children, the victims of sex trafficking. It doesn't make sense when you talk about 50,000 unaccompanied minors. The 2008 law wasn't designed to deal with this situation." — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • APTOPIX Mideast Israe_Hass.jpg Gaza rocket lands near Israel's main airport

    A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Perry sending National Guard troops to border

    The deployment of National Guard troops, which may act in a law enforcement capacity under state authority, will cost Texas an estimated $12 million per month. They simply will be “referring and deterring” immigrants and not detaining people, authorities said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Gay, transgender workers gain U.S. bias protection

    “America’s federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people,” President Obama declared at a White House signing ceremony.

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • Judge won’t lift Fla. Keys gay marriage stay

    Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia rejected a motion to allow immediate weddings filed by attorneys for Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, a pair of Key West bartenders whose lawsuit successfully challenged the ban.

    July 21, 2014

  • Obama Medal of Honor_Hass.jpg Obama bestows Medal of Honor on N.H. veteran

    Ryan M. Pitts is the ninth living recipient of the nation’s highest decoration for battlefield valor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads