Federal officials will step into the enforce new health care regulations after Oklahoma leaders said they won’t implement “Obamacare.”
Oklahoma is one of four states to put a wrinkle in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Missouri, Texas and Wyoming also received similar notices from federal regulators, according to KTUL.com’s sister website, POLITICO.
“We are enforcing because Oklahoma notified … that it has not enacted legislation to enforce or that it is otherwise not enforcing the Affordable Care Act market reform provisions,” Gary Cohen, director of the federal Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, wrote to the Oklahoma Insurance Department on Friday.
The enforcement letters come a little more than a month after a Commonwealth Fund report found just 11 states and Washington had started to adjust state laws to prepare for seven major Obamacare insurance reforms taking effect in 2014.
The Department of Health and Human Services, however, has downplayed the issue. It says many state insurance commissioners have broad authority to enforce federal laws — even if their states haven’t given them explicit direction on new ACA requirements.
POITICO reports that Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner says he doesn’t have the legal authority to enforce federal law after voters approved a 2010 state question amending Oklahoma’s condition to prohibit laws which compel individuals, employers and providers to participate in health care systems.
“It is unfortunate that health insurers are being forced into a system of dual regulation by the overreaching Obama administration,” Doak said in a press release. “My position on this has never wavered and I welcome every opportunity to try to overturn Obamacare.”
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