Governor releases 51,000 pages on health care decision

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin’s office released more than 51,000 pages of emails memos and briefings Friday.

The document dump stems from an open records request into why the governor first accepted, then rejected $54 million in federal health care funding.

“It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to support or fund a new government program,” Gov. Fallin said in Nov. 2012.

Citing high costs to taxpayers, last year Gov. Fallin rejected the creation of a state health exchange and the participation of the federal expansion of Medicaid.

Some called the move purely political.

That’s why the Oklahoma ACLU and some media outlets requested Gov. Fallin release all internal documents relating to her decision

The governor honored that request in part by putting 51,000 pages on a DVD.

“Our role is all about getting the information out and letting the public choose what to do with it,” Okla. ACLU’s Brady Henderson said.

Henderson said the ACLU isn’t concerned about the reasons for Gov. Fallin’s health care decisions.

They simply want citizens to have access to the information.

“As to the content of the emails and documents, that’s not ACLU’s concern,” he said. “Our interest is open government and transparent government. It’s about a citizen’s right to know.”

The governor didn’t release everything.

About 100 pages have been deemed confidential because of executive privilege or attorney client privilege.

That doesn’t sit well with the ACLU.

“It’s still a problem because it’s inconsistent with the law and inconsistent with open government,” Henderson said.

The governor’s office refused to make any statements on the issue.