Oklahoma lawmaker's plan puts states in charge of health care

Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford wants congressional approval of compact signed by Oklahoma and seven other states to shed federal health care rules.
by Chris Casteel Modified: February 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: February 11, 2014
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— Rep. James Lankford began a long-shot effort Tuesday to gain congressional approval of an agreement among Oklahoma and several other states to control their own health care systems.

Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, introduced a bill seeking consent of the Health Care Compact, which has been joined by eight states and is being considered by 12 others.

“The compact transfers health care decision-making authority and responsibility from the federal level to member states,” Lankford said.

“Those member states are then free to implement their own health care systems without interference from federal bureaucrats, using federal health care funds already collected and spent in their state.”

Congress must approve state compacts; even if the House were to approve the compact, the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Barack Obama would oppose it.

The compact would affect Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, though not the Indian Health Service or Defense Department programs such as Tricare.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation in 2011 to join the compact.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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