Senator Lankford Statement on Healthcare Executive Order

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today applauded the President’s Executive Order to reform Obamacare regulations to provide more affordable options for healthcare insurance. The Executive Order expands the availability of Associated Health Plans, which will allow small businesses and other trade organizations to band together across state lines to offer their employees affordable health insurance; short-term limited duration insurance policies, which are not subject to the stringent requirements of Obamacare and thus can be a much more affordable coverage option; and expands employers’ ability to utilize health reimbursement arrangements. By itself, this Executive Order will not completely stabilize health insurance markets, however, it includes positive steps forward in creating new pathways to more affordable coverage options for families and individuals. 

“I applaud the President’s Executive Order to reform healthcare regulations, and I hope this prompts Congress to build on the Administration’s efforts to pass a lasting healthcare reform package into law. Although the authors of Obamacare sought to lower the cost of healthcare, in reality, it has actually increased healthcare costs and limited options for many Oklahomans. Healthcare insurance premiums have increased 76 percent on average for Oklahoma residents on the federal exchange this year. Oklahoma is one of five states in America to only have one insurer on the exchange in 2017. Though the Affordable Care Act gave the White House wide latitude to make executive changes in healthcare policy, Congress still should pass major reforms into law to provide stability, increase competition, and lower healthcare costs for everyone.”

Lankford has introduced several healthcare reform bills to create more options and lowers costs. In 2015, Lankford introduced Healthcare Compact legislation to give Americans more healthcare choices by allowing states, like Oklahoma, to join a compact pilot program that gives them freedom to regulate healthcare within their state. Earlier this year, Lankford released the Patient Access to Higher Quality Health Care Act of 2017, which lifts the ban on the creation and expansion of physician-owned hospitals and allows these hospitals to participate in Medicare and Medicaid.