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Oklahoma Senate backs public vote on federal health care opt out

BY JULIE BISBEE Published: May 6, 2010
"Let’s think about what we’re doing today.”

Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Tulsa, said lawmakers were using a "belt and suspenders” approach.

"We want to cinch this up any way that we can,” Brogdon said. "Congress passed the national health care (plan) without one Republican vote and they have pushed this down on the citizens of this state.”

Sen. Kenneth Corn, D-Poteau, one of a handful of Democrats who supported the measure, said Oklahomans are clamoring for answers on how the state is going to fix a $1.2 billion budget hole. A budget plan for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, has not been released.

"We’ve spent a lot of time on these things, but very little time on the budget,” he said. "There are a lot of things that will happen out here when the rubber meets the road. We can’t answer the questions about getting people proper care and treatment, but we sure seem to have a lot of time for political rhetoric.”

A spokesman for Henry said that the governor is concerned with bills that could increase litigation costs for the state.

"Gov. Henry has already expressed concerns about saddling taxpayers with yet another expensive legal battle when the federal law is already being challenged by many other states,” Paul Sund said. "Oklahoma’s participation will do nothing to bolster the plaintiffs’ chances of success and will simply cost the state much-needed resources during very challenging budget times.”

The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute has offered to represent the state in its challenge of the national health care plan on U.S. constitutional merits.


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