While the third open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act is set to end this Sunday, President Obama would be hard pressed to find many eager Oklahomans.
“’Obamacare’ is a cuss word in this state,” said former Gov. David Walters, a Democrat.
So, by the Obama White House standards, Oklahoma has decided to be a health care rebel:
The state declined to set up its own insurance exchange or to expand its Medicaid program, which has some of the nation’s most restrictive eligibility criteria. State officials say the number of private insurers participating on the federal insurance exchange here has fallen, and the premiums of the insurance plans on offer have increased.
The president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, Craig W. Jones, went one step further, calling Obamacare “toxic.”
Considering Obama lost all 77 counties in the state in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, it’s perhaps no surprise Oklahomans are resisting his health care law.
Yet, their distaste goes beyond politics. There’s no overlooking the disaster that is Obamacare. Higher premiums, skyrocketing out-of-pocket costs, booting people off perfectly fine insurance plans are just a few of the law’s egregious consequences. Most recently, the Congressional Budget Office reported that it is forced to downgrade Obamacare’s enrollment projections by 8 million. This is equal to about a 40 percent decline.
Can we blame Oklahoma for its hesitation?