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Oklahoma insurance commissioner meets with President Obama to discuss looming insurance rate hikes

State Insurance Commissioner John Doak was among several state regulators who met with President Barack Obama and other senior staff to discuss a variety of pending healthcare issues.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: April 18, 2014

Oklahoma’s insurance commissioner was among a group of state regulators at the White House on Thursday to meet with President Barack Obama for a question-and-answer session on the successes and failures of the Affordable Care Act.

State Insurance Commissioner John Doak was one of 44 chief insurance regulators who met with the president and members of his administration to discuss 2015 enrollment issues under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as Obamacare.

The meeting was called by the White House to focus on the end of open enrollment in 2014 and preparing for the 2015 open enrollment period, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Doak said the leaders discussed a range of topics during a conversation that lasted about 90 minutes, although the regulators did not bring up Medicaid expansion.

Doak said he didn’t get a chance to ask Obama a specific question, but during a brief conversation with the president, Doak talked about the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma last May.

“I highly respect the office of the president of the United States, and I think it’s a great opportunity to articulate our Oklahoma views,” Doak said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C. “I thanked him for his quick action relative to the Moore tornado victims and their assistance, and we agreed while we have dramatic policy differences, discussion and dialogue is appropriate.”

After the meeting with state regulators, Obama made a surprise appearance Thursday in the White House briefing room to celebrate new marketplace figures, which beat initial projections by 1 million people.

Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges, Obama said Thursday, besting expectations and offering new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead of the mid-term elections.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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