Oklahoma is latest to reject state-based health exchange

Add Oklahoma to the list of Republican-led states that won't implement the key feature of President Obama's healthcare law.

Gov. Mary Fallin said Monday that she won't set up a state-based insurance exchange — a new portal where people who don't get insurance through their employers can shop for coverage, often with help from a federal subsidy.


"It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government, that is opposed by a clear majority of Oklahomans, and that will further the implementation of a law that threatens to erode both the quality of American healthcare and the fiscal stability of the nation," Fallin said in a statement.

Republican governors are under pressure from conservatives not to set up their own exchanges. It's seen as the best chance to stand in the way of the Affordable Care Act now that Obama's reelection has protected the law from legislative repeal.

Fallin's decision means that the federal government will now run Oklahoma's exchange, as it will in the other GOP-led states that have rejected their own exchanges.

Fallin also said the state will not participate in the healthcare law's Medicaid expansion, which became optional as a result of the Supreme Court's landmark healthcare ruling.