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Oklahoma's governor will talk about health insurance exchange with GOP peers

Gov. Mary Fallin will make an announcement on Oklahoma's participation in the health insurance exchange after meeting with Republican governors later this week in Las Vegas, her spokesman says.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: November 13, 2012

Gov. Mary Fallin will be talking with her Republican counterparts before deciding by Friday's deadline whether Oklahoma is going to form a state electronic health insurance exchange.

“We'll have some kind of an announcement, but after that Republican Governors Association meeting,” Alex Weintz, Fallin's communications director, said Monday.

The deadline for states to declare their plans to federal officials remains Friday.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department late last week extended the deadline until Dec. 14 to submit a plan to develop an insurance exchange, which would align the uninsured with insurance providers.

States also can decide to develop a state-federal partnership or enroll residents in a federal exchange program. Oklahoma is one of several states that has not developed a health insurance exchange, as required under the federal Affordable Care Act.

“Governor Fallin is continuing to explore the state's options as they relate to health insurance exchanges,” Weintz said. “Her priority is to ensure the people of Oklahoma are best served by a system that increases access to health care, controls health care costs and does so in a way that is fiscally responsible. Oklahoma is not in a unique position; many other states are continuing to weigh what options best serve their citizens, as is responsible.”

Funding among topics

Fallin will be attending the Republican Governors Association annual conference, which begins Wednesday in Las Vegas. She'll be at that conference through Thursday. She leaves Friday for the National Governors Association annual meeting in San Diego. Fallin is vice chairman of the bipartisan organization.

At the Republican governors conference, discussions will take place on health care and other topics, such as looming federal budget cuts on the states.

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