Statewide
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May 24, 2011
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Wesley Burt

A plurality of likely Oklahoma voters favor the decision to join Health Care Compact

A recent SoonerPoll found that a plurality of likely Oklahoma voters favored the proposal to enter into an interstate compact that could potentially supersede federal health care laws and would allow states to enact their own laws.

Respondents were asked: �A proposal has been made for Oklahoma to enter into an interstate compact, an agreement between two or more states that is consented to by Congress, regarding health care regulation. This health-care compact would restore the authority and responsibility for health care regulation to the member states and provide the funds to the states to fulfill that responsibility. Do you favor or oppose this proposal for a health-care compact?�

Results show that 38.7 percent of respondents favor the compact, 28.1 percent oppose it, and 33.2 percent remain undecided.

Governor Mary Fallin signed the proposed legislation to join the compact on Wednesday, making Oklahoma the second state to join behind Georgia.� Now that two states have passed the compact legislation, the Health Care Compact must be sent to Congress.

�Once again, Gov. Fallin has made a decision on health care that reflects the attitudes of Oklahomans,� said Jason Sutton, J.D., health policy analyst for OCPA. �Just like with the health insurance exchange grant, Oklahomans want to make their own decisions about their health, rather than have those decisions dictated by a bureaucrat. Whether Congress will approve the compact and the President will sign it remains to be seen.�

If Congress approves the compact, it will become effective leaving control of all health care, except for veterans' coverage, to�the member states.

Other results from the same poll indicate that 64.8 percent of likely Oklahoma voters believe the health care law will be �bad for the country,� compared to only 22 percent who answered �good for the country.�

�I think the fact that nearly 65 percent of Oklahomans think the healthcare bill is bad for the country while only 39 percent favor the healthcare compact shows that many Oklahomans are unsure about how the compact would work,� said Sutton. �This is likely a reflection about how little media coverage the compact has received. As more Oklahomans learn about the compact and its potential, I think you will see those favorability numbers increase.�

Favorability tends to fall off even further when results are broken down by the respondents� party identification. �A 42.6 percent plurality of Republicans favored the compact, compared to a 38.5 percent plurality of Democrats and a 36 percent plurality of Independents who remain undecided.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma�s public opinion pollster, was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.� SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 � 12. The study has a margin of error of � 4.34 percent.

Wesley Burt
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Wesley Burt