Editor’s note: This is an opinion piece from the State Chamber of Oklahoma
KLAHOMA – The State Chamber of Oklahoma said Gov. Brad Henry’s recent vetoes of health care, lawsuit reform and wireless industry bills will hurt job growth in Oklahoma. The governor vetoed the bills after the state Senate and House passed them to his desk.
“Vetoing these bills will cost millions of dollars, discourage job growth and hurt everyday Oklahomans already affected by this economy,” said Fred Morgan, president and of The State Chamber. “During a time when we desperately need to embrace a pro-job agenda, these vetoes send the wrong message to businesses in Oklahoma and others looking to expand here.”
The governor vetoed a bill that would have created the indemnity fund trust board to accept bids for reinsurance to cover medical providers’ medical liability claims for non-economic damages in excess of the $400,000 cap created last year.
Also vetoed was legislation that would have attracted additional investment in the latest wireless communications technology, which would have been especially beneficial to businesses in rural Oklahoma.
The governor also vetoed several important health care bills that would have encouraged business growth. One allowed for the development of state-to-state health insurance provider compacts, allowing out-of-state as well as Oklahoma domiciles carriers to join and offer policies that do not have to comply with state benefit mandates. Another bill would have required the Oklahoma State and Education Employees Group Insurance Board to contract with an evidence-based medicine program in order to provide incentives for more cost-effective health care.
Finally, the governor vetoed a bill that addressed and resolved the constitutional issues that were identified by the state Supreme Court to exist in the Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act (), while preserving the original legislative intent of the .