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Changes in Commissioner Lineup Could Complicate PPACA Implementation

Some of the new state insurance commissioners are staunch opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (otherwise known as the federal healthcare...
November 9, 2010

Some of the new state insurance commissioners are staunch opponents of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (otherwise known as the federal healthcare law) and who want it repealed. In some cases, such as in Oklahoma, they will replace commissioners who have supported the law. This may greatly complicate the implementation of the law, much of which must be done by the states. This includes setting up state-run health insurance exchanges.

John Doak, the Republican challenger, ousted incumbent Democratic Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland in an election largely focused on Doak's opposition to the federal health reform law. Holland supported the healthcare bill. Doak advocates repealing it, saying he wants to take a "leadership role" to "move the conservative agenda at the NAIC level." This could mean that the NAIC, a body that usually implements public policy, may find itself in the midst of a debate on whether healthcare reform as passed by Congress itself will be sustained and implemented.

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