Sen. Bill Brown, Chair of the Senate Committee on Retirement and Insurance, on Monday called upon Gov. Fallin to stand with other governors who have announced their refusal to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) following the Supreme Courts recent ruling.
Calling the decision a blow to individual liberty and free markets, Brown said the state must refuse the expansion of Medicaid and federally-run market exchanges. Brown referenced Medicare as an example of the governments tendency to underestimate the cost of its far-reaching programs.
It is a moral imperative that state leaders do everything in their power to halt the implementation of a program that strikes at the heart of our founding principles, said Brown, R-Broken Arrow. Medicare began in 1965 with a cost of $3 billion a year that doubled every four years until 1980. In 2010, its cost was $523 billion, and now the Congressional Budget Office estimates that by 2020 the cost will be $932 billion.
The government has projected the cost of Obamacare will start at $1 trillion each year, which is obviously not a realistic assessment, and it will only get more expensive.
At its inception, Brown added, the House Ways and Means Committee estimated Medicare would cost $12 billion yearly by 1990. Medicare expenditures totaled $107 billion in 1990.
Brown noted that prior to the Courts ruling, the so-called penalty was to be justified under the Commerce Clause. Sixty votes would have been needed to repeal the law in the U.S. Senate, a virtual impossibility. Now that the Court has ruled the penalty a tax, Brown added, the law could be overturned with just 51 votes.
Repeal of this law is a real possibility, and it needs to be the rallying cry for those who value our constitutional freedoms, Brown said. Oklahoma must join those states which have refused to implement any part of the Act, including Medicaid provisions and the Exchange program while repeal efforts are alive. I call on Gov. Fallin to stand with governors in other states and join the vital effort to resist and repeal this extraordinary federal power grab.