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Thursday, April 14, 2011
Oklahoma City, OK - Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak announced Thursday that he will return a $1 million ObamaCare grant that was accepted by his predecessor.
"I believe it is in the best interest of the Insurance Department and the state to return this grant, which was accepted by my predecessor," Doak said. "Oklahoma voters made their voices heard loud and clear in November that they do not want ObamaCare. More recently, they have made it clear that they do not want Oklahoma to accept or spend money associated with ObamaCare. That is what Oklahomans want and that is what I am going to do.
Commissioner Doak campaigned vigorously against ObamaCare in 2010.
"This is a fulfillment of my campaign promise to oppose ObamaCare every way I could," said Doak. "I remain deeply committed to a free-market system that relies on licensed agents and brokers as the frontline of consumer protection."
The $1 million grant, which was received in August 2010, provided funding for the Insurance Department to conduct health insurance premium rate reviews to identify what the federal legislation said were "…unreasonable and unjustified and/or excessive rate increases."
"The Oklahoma Insurance Department currently conducts and will continue to conduct premium rate reviews under state law," Doak said. "However, we will not do so with ObamaCare money."
Doak also applauded Gov. Mary Fallin for her decision not to accept the $54.6 million Early Innovator Grant that was awarded to Oklahoma in February.
"Gov. Fallin’s decision to return the Early Innovator grant further distances our efforts to create an exchange based on Oklahoma’s free-market, consumer-oriented ideals from the Obama
administration’s efforts to impose what likely will be a restrictive framework on Oklahoma," Doak said. "I applaud the Governor’s decision to not accept the grant."
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ABOUT THE OKLAHOMA INSURANCE DEPARTMENT
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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