2009 task force report offers ideas for state health care reform

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: December 12, 2012

But under Obamacare, citizens can no longer use FSA dollars to buy over-the-counter drugs; they must get a prescription first. Starting in 2014, individuals won't be able to put more than $2,500 annually into an FSA and get a tax break. Currently, those accounts have no cap and can be used for big-ticket items such as a child's braces (which can cost around $7,000). Virginia-based Brown's Insurance Agency notes that this change “is most likely to affect parents who pay for daycare through an FSA. In other words, it hurts most for middle class folks on a budget.” The change is expected to especially penalize parents of children with special needs who could previously use FSA funds for their child's schooling.

Obamacare regulations also imperil high-deductible plans, with ripple effects on the viability of health savings accounts. The House task force also endorsed creation of a state-run health insurance exchange. Obamacare's subsequent exploitation of that concept made it politically toxic and a nonstarter.

Clearly, the Democratic version of health care reform has made true health care reform more difficult. This doesn't mean Fallin shouldn't try. Insure Oklahoma is a good starting point.

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