To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Observercast

What Do You Mean There Is An Oklahoma Supreme Court?

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That was the unreported response from Gov. Kevin “Kingfish” Stitt when he was advised that something called the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that he could not unilaterally appropriate $2.4 billion to four private insurance companies to corral and then operate the state’s Medicaid system, including the expansion required by the voters nearly a year ago.

Being a not-so-smart “my way or the highway” businessman straight out of central casting, our governor has cost you and other taxpayers millions of dollars pursuing losing lawsuits whose core ingredients are arrogance, ignorance and incompetence in the conduct of his important job.

How so? Simple. The Constitution under Section X-23 gives to the Legislature the exclusive right to “appropriate” money – period! So when the governor, just before the session started back in February, strong-armed members of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority [OHCA] and its Stitt-appointed director, former oilman Kevin Corbett, to contract with Blue Cross/Blue Shield and three other mega-insurance outfits to take over OHCA, it set the stage for the court’s decision.

A ruling this week was delivered by the highest court in Oklahoma that once again put the mortgage manager and play-like governor in his place and nullifies the billions earmarked for insurance companies. All the great work and service OHCA has done over decades for its 1.2 million customers is protected again, but only temporarily, until September, when Stitt Scheme No. 1,204 was due to be implemented.

Someday, the governor may actually win one in the courts but then again, it’s Stitt, so maybe not.

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Cal Hobson
Cal Hobson, a Lexington Democrat, served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 1978-2006, including one term as Senate President Pro Tempore.