For Immediate Release: March 8, 2012
SB 1629 is on hold pending Supreme Court action
The Legislature will wait until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules
on the constitutionality of the federal health care law before proceeding
with Senate Bill 1629, legislators announced Thursday.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this summer, perhaps
as early as June, on a legal challenge brought by several states
alleging the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Should the high court overturn the law, the possibility exists
that health insurance exchanges would not be necessary. And should
the high court uphold the federal law, nuances within the majority
opinion could help legislators craft the most effective Oklahoma-based
marketplace possible to defend against the imposition of a federal
Given these dynamics, legislative leaders and the chairmen of the
Joint Committee of Federal Health Care Law have opted to wait until
the outcome of the Supreme Court proceedings before moving further
forward with SB 1629. If the court upholds the law, the Legislature
is already prepared to continue defending against federal intervention
into the Oklahoma health care market.
“There are many common-sense solutions conservatives can
agree on to lower the cost of healthcare, expand access and choices
to more individuals, and increase the quality of our care –
all through tried-and-true principles of the free market,”
said Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, co-chairman of the Joint Committee
on Federal Health Care Law.
“These are ideas worth pursuing, and we eagerly await the
Supreme Court’s repeal of ObamaCare so we can begin the very
serious business of addressing our healthcare challenges with solutions
that expand freedom instead of government,” Stanislawski said.
The Joint Committee on Federal Health Care Law met five times throughout
the interim to determine the effect the law will have on Oklahoma.
Among its recommendations was to craft a state-based marketplace
in order to prevent the federal government from imposing a federal
exchange in Oklahoma.
“If the court doesn’t reject this law as we hope, developing
a state-based exchange remains our best defense against unwanted
federal intervention,” said Rep. Glen Mulready, R-Tulsa, the
committee’s other co-chairman. “We think we have fashioned
a good plan. We are willing to wait to ensure we have the best possible
solution to protect Oklahoma from federal intervention.”
Legislative leaders supported the committee co-chairmen’s
“Republicans in the state Senate will do everything in our
power to block ObamaCare in Oklahoma. When President Obama rammed
through a trillion dollar unconstitutional assault on the healthcare
freedom of Oklahomans, he proved his values are fundamentally at
odds with ours,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman,
R-Sapulpa. “The fight to preserve healthcare freedom is far
“Developing a state-based solution has always been and remains
the best, most realistic way to defend against a federal exchange.
The reality is we’re not yet at the point where we absolutely
have to deploy that defense,” said House Speaker Kris Steele,
R-Shawnee. “Should the time come, we’ll be prepared
to act thanks to the groundwork the committee has laid for us.”
For more information, contact:
405.962.7674 desk, 405.706.0084 cell