Republican Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin announced the state will not accept $54.6 million in HHS grant money that had been awarded as part of $241 million in “early innovator” grants to several states to create information technology infrastructure for health insurance exchanges.
Okla. governor rejects HHS grant money
Instead, Oklahoma will create a health insurance “private enterprise network” funded by state or private resources, Fallin announced in a news release. The network is based on a concept by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank and legislation passed by the Legislature in 2009, and is designed to use a free-market approach, the release states. The network will be governed by a board mostly consisting of members of the private sector and chaired by the state insurance commissioner, according to the governor's release.
Separately, the state's insurance commissioner, John Doak, announced that he will return a $1 million grant received under his predecessor as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for health insurance premium rate reviews, according to a news release. The department will continue to perform such rate reviews but without federal funding, Doak said in the release.
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