Oklahoma Lawmakers Weigh In On Health Care

Tuesday, September 29th 2009, 9:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, OK -- A federal involvement in health care has some state lawmakers worried about the impact on Oklahoma.

Some say there are other ways to improve health care.

Representatives John Trebilcock and Mike Ritze, along with Senator Bill Brown all took time Tuesday night to address members of their Broken Arrow church on why the talk in Washington should be the talk in Oklahoma.

"A federal takeover of one of the biggest industries in the country is not something that Oklahomans, I think, is not in favor of," said Rep. John Trebilcock, (R) Broken Arrow.

All three republicans say a federal health care plan is a waste of tax dollars. Each says there are other ways to improve healthcare that wouldn't cost the trillions of dollars being proposed in Washington.

Senator Bill Brown would like to see insurance companies standardize their claims forms so doctors don't have to hire as many people to translate the documents. He would also like the insurance companies to utilize technology.

"We can reduce the costs of health insurance through some very simple things that they can do. One is electronic claims filing," said Sen. Bill Brown, (R) Broken Arrow.

Representative John Trebilcock says lawmakers in Oklahoma need to look at allowing residents more freedom on where they can purchase insurance.

"One thing I really think states need to look at is allowing people to buy insurance across state lines," said Rep. John Trebilcock, (R) Broken Arrow.

And Representative Mike Ritz, who is also a doctor, says there needs to be tougher laws that limit the amount paid in malpractice suits. He also wants the state to come down even harder on illegal immigrants who use the emergency room for healthcare.

"But everybody that goes to the emergency room is paying for them and that costs us, as people that are buying health insurance or as taxpayers, to pay for the non-taxpaying element that's going to the emergency rooms," said Rep. Mike Ritze, (R) Broken Arrow.

Analysts say both the House and Senate now appear on track to vote on different versions of health care legislation this fall. Passage in both houses would set the stage for a compromise to be voted on by year's end.