Health Care

Free Market Friday: Obamacare failure hurts Oklahomans

August 19, 2016

Jonathan Small

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.

Read the rest over on The Journal Record.