++ AGENDA FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETING
++ ACTION ITEM
++ AGENDA FOR THIS WEEK’S MEETING
Our 12 noon luncheon for Wednesday, February 29th will be held at
Italiano’s restaurant, 4801 North Lincoln in OKC. We are very
fortunate to have as a speaker this week, Mr. Ward Connerly, founder
and President of the American Civil Rights Institute. The organization
is a national, not-for-profit organization aimed at educating the
public about the need to move beyond race, and specifically, racial
and gender preferences. Mr. Connerly has gained national attention as
an outspoken advocate of equal opportunity for all Americans,
regardless of race, sex, or ethnic background.
As a member of the University of California Board of Regents, Mr.
Connerly focused the attention of the nation on the University’s race-
based system of preferences in its admissions policy. He eventually
led a petition effort to stop racial preferences in student
admissions. As such, Mr. Connerly has been profiled on 60 Minutes,
Parade magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal,
Newsweek, and virtually every major news magazine in America. He has
also appeared on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Crossfire, Hannity $
Colmes, Meet the Press, Dateline, NBC Nightly News, CNN, C-Span, and
by this Wednesday afternoon he will have made the big time with an
appearance at OCPAC (sorry folks, just couldn’t resist).
Actually, Mr. Connerly is in Oklahoma regarding the State Question
which will be on the ballot this November to eliminate race based
preferences in various applications in the State of Oklahoma. Just
last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up a Texas case on
the same issue. Therefore we couldn’t have him at OCPAC at a more
appropriate time. Arrive early if you can to get a good seat.
++ ACTION ITEM
* Last year, much to my surprise, under significant pressure from
grassroots activists, the State Legislature and Governor, decided not
to create an Obamacare required, health care insurance exchange.
Governor Fallin even sent a $50 plus million early innovator grant
back to the “bankrupt” federal government, much to the chagrin of the
Oklahoman and the State Chamber of Commerce. Hearings were held during
this past Summer and now it is time to say yea or nay.
This past Wednesday, Oklahoma’s Joint Legislative Committee on Federal
Health Care Law issued its Final Report, recommending the
establishment of a state based insurance exchange and the creation of
a public beneficiary trust as administrator.
As a result, several grassroots groups led by http://www.ok-safe.com
just issued a Joint Press Release indicating that both of these
recommendations continue to align the state of Oklahoma with the
provisions of “Obama Care” and are contrary to many Republican
campaign promises as well as recent public statements by Republican
Mentioned 278 times in the Obamacare law, the exchanges are the
defining component in planning and implementing the law, without the
exchanges there is NO Obamacare.
Committee Chairman, State Representative Glen Mulready (R-Tulsa) has
admitted that, “There is no doubt that a state-based exchange falls
under the umbrella of federal law.”
The Cato Institute and the Heartland Institute, in addition to
numerous grassroots organizations, have told this legislature that the
strongest position for a state to take, if they really oppose
Obamacare, is to not establish a state-based exchange, or yet another
Many grassroots organizations in Oklahoma reject the Final Report as
well as the establishment of either a state-based exchange or another
trust. Trusts, unknown to most Oklahomans, can solicit and receive
federal grants, and operate without legislative oversight. The trust
mechanism is providing political cover for those Republicans in the
Legislature who wish to appear as if they are opposing Obamacare, but
are actually working to establish the means to implement it.
Bottom line, I believe our Republican lawmakers are acting like
cowards, afraid of standing up to the federal government on an issue
beyond the federal governments “enumerated powers” or else they are
caving in to the heavy hand of the desires of the State Chamber of
In a recent OCPAC e-mail, I re-published a press release by Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker about Wisconsin’s total rejection of these
exchanges and His disbanding of the committee tasked with creating
such. Too bad Oklahoma’s Republican lawmakers don’t have the courage
of Governor Walker and the state of Wisconsin.
SB 1629 by Senator Brian Bingman (R-Sapulpa) is to be heard today,
February 27th. This bill establishes a Health Insurance Private
Marketplace Network Trust. The committee substitute language for SB
1629 appears to be a re-work of last year’s controversial “Hub” bill.
SB 1629 follows the costly path of inserting a middleman into the
traditional business model, which will ultimately cost us more in the
YOU NEED TO CALL TODAY! Please call Senator Bingman’s office at (405)
521-5528 and leave a message that you are opposed to SB 1629 because
you are opposed to any kind of framework necessary to implement
Obamacare. In addition, please call your personal State Senator with
the same message. If you do not know the number for your personal
Senator, just call the Senate switchboard at (405) 524-0126 or 1 800
865-6490, give them your Senator’s name and they will patch you
through to your Senator’s office. Calling is the most effective way to
contact your personal lawmaker.
PLEASE ACT NOW!
I look forward to seeing everyone this Wednesday.