Ashli Sims, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Oklahoma's conservative governor took a hit from her right flank. Governor Mary Fallin was greeted by protesters in Tulsa on Thursday. Many voted for Fallin but don't feel like she's living up to her campaign promises when it comes to the issue of healthcare.
Fallin has rallied against federal healthcare reform - even filing a legal challenge against what she calls "Obamacare." That's why some folks say they're disappointed their governor is pushing what they've dubbed "Fallincare."
Nearly a dozen protesters dusted off their signs and their flags to greet one of their own.
"We're very upset that she accepted $54 million from the federal government because that's not what Republicans are about. We don't want to do that," said Ronda Vuillemont-Smith, a protester.
The $54 million is a federal grant to implement an online health insurance exchange, which would allow consumers to compare prices and benefits. Governor Mary Fallin is pushing lawmakers to pass House Bill 2130 to establish a governing board for the program.
"The House Bill 2130 directly ties it into Obamacare as well as the acceptance of the $54 million," Vuillemont-Smith said.
"Well, I think that's the kind of people who are uninformed," Governor Mary Fallin said.
Fallin was in Tulsa, speaking to a group of health insurance professionals. She says a state-run exchange is a conservative idea and the only way to keep the federal government out of the process.
"I don't want the federal government to come in and tell Oklahoma what we're going to do when it comes to insurance," the governor said.
"I truly don't see the difference between federally-controlled healthcare and Oklahoma-controlled healthcare," said protester Janene Wooster.
The protesters say we already have options for folks who can't afford health insurance, and we don't need any more. Governor Fallin says if federal healthcare reform survives the legal challenges, the state will have no choice.
"I hope they overturn it. But if they don't, the federal government can come into Oklahoma by 2014 and tell us what we have to do. And I don't want the federal government to tell us what we have to do," Fallin said.
Critics claim they don't know exactly how these health insurance exchanges will work. They do have to meet some federal guidelines, but the details are up to the individual states.
And Oklahoma's is still under development.