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Obamacare

Dick Pryor

In this episode of Capitol Insider KGOU's Dick Pryor and eCapitol's Shawn Ashley sit down with outgoing Governor Mary Fallin. 

Taylor Lott, of the Latino Community Development Agency in Oklahoma City, worked as a navigator assisting people with enrollment in the federal health-insurance marketplace. She says many people still need help because of confusion over the process.
Mashuir Rahaman / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma bucked expectations as enrollment on the federal health-care marketplace climbed to a record level for the upcoming year.

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma is blaming the Trump administration for failing to approve an expedited plan that was projected to lower health insurance premiums and entice thousands of uninsured Oklahomans to sign up for coverage.

a stack of dollar bills with a stethoscope and bottle of pills
James Martin / Flickr

Oklahoma is preparing to unveil a $350 million plan designed to reduce health insurance premiums and avert a scenario where the state is left with no provider offering plans on the federally run marketplace.

But the effort comes with a catch:  The more than 1.7 million Oklahomans who receive health insurance outside of the marketplace, including from employers, would pay more – a per-person fee of up to $60 a year.

The fee is part of a federal waiver the state is seeking to begin a reinsurance program through the Affordable Care Act or the GOP’s proposed replacement plan.

As a member of the Navajo tribe, Rochelle Jake has received free care through the Indian Health Service her entire life. The IHS clinics took care of her asthma, allergies and eczema — chronic problems, nothing urgent.

Recently, though, she felt sharp pains in her side. Her doctor recommended an MRI and other tests she couldn't get through IHS. To pay for them, he urged her to sign up for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Affordable Care Act health insurance rates are expected to rise in Oklahoma in 2016, and the state Insurance Department insists it cannot do anything about rates except review and approve the paperwork.

In the past, however, the department held a somewhat different view, according to a former high-ranking state insurance official.

health insurance cards and dollar bills
Lindsey Whelchel / Oklahoma Watch

Two private health insurance companies participating in the Affordable Care Act market in Oklahoma are expected to leave the program next year, while another big insurer wants in.

The shuffle, which would occur on Jan. 1, illustrates the rapid evolution of the “Obamacare” health insurance marketplace as it approaches its third year of operation. Some insurers are finding it difficult to make a profit on Affordable Care Act policies, while others see an opportunity that could pay off big over time.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson is broadcasting from Washington, D.C. today, and sits down with Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

The United States is a divided nation and Americans need to figure out how to live together, according to Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame. Muñoz spoke at a recent lecture entitled "Hobby Lobby, Obamacare & the Future of Religious Freedom" at the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Auditorium.

a stack of dollar bills with a stethoscope and bottle of pills
James Martin / Flickr

Federal health officials say nearly 125,000 Oklahomans have signed up for health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced Wednesday that 124,838 Oklahoma consumers either selected a plan or were automatically reenrolled in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Nationally, HHS says about 11.4 million Americans selected plans were automatically reenrolled.

The second year of open enrollment ended Sunday.

James Martin/Flickr

While some Republican-led states are exploring whether to expand Medicaid to include more low-income residents, Oklahoma's GOP leaders remain steadfastly opposed to the idea.

The head of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority says there is no effort underway to seek a Medicaid expansion or even develop an Oklahoma-specific plan for seeking available funding.

Indiana recently received approval to expand Medicaid through a state-run program, making it the 128th state to do so and the 10th with a Republican in the governor's mansion.

Senator Ralph Shortey - District 44, R-Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Senate

A recently proposed bill would allow for-profit companies to pursue religious-based purposes.

Currently, all organizations incorporated for religious purposes must be registered nonprofit organizations.

SB0729, by Sen. Ralph Shortey, would allow any domestic corporations, limited partnership or limited liability company to establish itself as a religious-based entity if certain requirements are the met.

“What it’s doing is extending the same liberties that a nonprofit has and extending it to corporations,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April has been voted Oklahoma's top story for 2014.

Lockett's execution prompted the state to impose a moratorium on executions and led to new discussions on the future of the death penalty.

Court action legalizing gay marriages was voted second by Associated Press members, and a workplace beheading in Moore is third.

A series of sexual-assault charges against Oklahoma lawmen is fourth and troubles within Oklahoma's public school system is fifth.

James Martin/Flickr

A new government report says 44,129 Oklahomans have signed up for the first time or re-enrolled in health plans during the first month of the latest sign-up period under the Affordable Care Act.

The 50-state report released Tuesday is the first in the latest sign-up season under the federal health care law. It shows that more than 4 million people selected plans for the first time or re-enrolled.

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Oklahoma and five other states have filed legal papers with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of their challenge against the Affordable Care Act.

Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia are challenging billions of dollars in Internal Revenue Service subsidies being handed out as part of the implementation of the law. The case is scheduled for argument in March.

State Wins Affordable Care Act Grant

Dec 16, 2014
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Obama administration announced Tuesday it had chosen Oklahoma to receive a grant of up to $2 million to develop innovative models for delivering health care.

The award is significant because it represents a rare departure from the state’s general reluctance to participate in programs authorized by the Affordable Care Act, sometimes characterized as Obamacare.

Oklahoma is one of 28 states chosen to receive funding in the second round of the State Innovation Models grant program. The grants total $665 million nationwide.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

On Saturday, the federal government began accepting applications and renewals for individual health plans sold through its online insurance marketplace.

Open enrollment for 2015 coverage will continue until Monday, Feb. 15.

Here are answers to many key questions about buying insurance on the health-care exchange in Oklahoma.

University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs during a Nov. 10, 2014 luncheon at the Jim Thorpe Association and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Over the weekend, millions of Americans had the opportunity to sign up for health insurance as the annual enrollment window opened for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

University of Minnesota political scientist Lawrence Jacobs traveled to Oklahoma City last week to speak at an Oklahoma Policy Institute luncheon. He argued state and federal officials would soon shift discussions away from an outright repeal of the healthcare plan.

Oklahoma Watch

Starting this weekend, an estimated 446,000 low-to-middle-income Oklahomans can sign up for government-subsidized health insurance for 2015 through the online marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act.

The 2015 open enrollment period begins Saturday, Nov. 15, and ends Sunday, Feb. 15. Federal officials and ACA advocates are encouraging people to complete their applications by Dec. 15 to avoid ensure their coverage begins on Jan. 1.

A recent national survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C., showed that 89 percent of uninsured people were not aware that open enrollment begins this month.

“It’s an unfortunate continuation of a trend that’s been going on for quite a while now,” Kaiser Foundation Senior Fellow Karen Politz said in a briefing with reporters. “People really aren’t that familiar with what’s in the ACA, whether it will help them, and what the rules are.”

State Sen. Connie Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) and U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5) during Tuesday night's U.S. Senate canddiate debate.
OStateTV

The two nominees for Oklahoma’s open U.S. Senate seat squared off Tuesday night in a debate at Oklahoma State University ahead of the November 4 elections. Republian nominee and U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla. 5) and his Democratic challenger state Sen. Connie Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) are seeking to complete the final two years of retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn’s term in office.

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