Jonathan Small | August 19, 2016
Free Market Friday: Obamacare failure hurts Oklahomans
It seems like a long time ago, but it was just 2009 when our country was roiled by debates over what became known as Obamacare.
President Obama argued that more government control would create more choices and lower costs. Opponents said the new entitlement program would do just the opposite and, in the end, hurt the people it was supposed to help.
Two recent developments show that opponents were correct. And while the failure of Obamacare harms Oklahomans, we can thank some of our state legislators for minimizing the damage.
This week, Aetna announced it will pull out of at least 11 of the 15 state exchanges. The major insurance company stopped selling plans in Oklahoma in 2014, but had been planning a return to our state’s exchange. Now, Oklahoma is officially set to join the ranks of states with just a single company “competing” in the health insurance exchange.
The week before, the federal government finally admitted the cost of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion. The actual cost is 49 percent higher than predictions made by the Obama administration and provided to Congress and the public. This means more federal spending, a larger national debt, and higher future costs for states that adopted the Medicaid expansion.
Imagine how much worse Oklahoma’s state financial picture would be if legislators had surrendered to demands from the Obama administration and Oklahoma Health Care Authority to expand Medicaid here.
Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.