The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Featured Story

April 30, 2013

Health care coverage option drafted at state Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY — A group of Republican lawmakers has developed an alternative plan to provide health coverage to uninsured Oklahomans that would require most recipients to work and pay modest copayments, The Associated Press has learned.

A draft copy of a bill obtained by the AP on Tuesday shows the Oklahoma Plan for Consumer Health Choice and Accountability would apply to Oklahoma residents who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $31,000 for a family of four. The plan could help provide health insurance coverage to up to 150,000 people who are currently uninsured, according to a tentative estimate from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

The plan includes some elements of Insure Oklahoma, a premium assistance program that uses Medicaid funds to help provide coverage to about 30,000 low-income, working Oklahomans. It also builds on a proposal approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature in neighboring Arkansas that would allow the use of federal Medicaid funds to purchase private insurance.

Under the current draft of the bill, eligible Oklahomans would include those who are working or actively seeking work, single parents with children under 12 years old, those caring for elderly or disabled family members, and those eligible to receive mental health care services from the state. Prisoners also would be eligible for coverage, a move that could save the state millions of dollars in health care costs for inmates, although it’s likely that language will be removed from the final draft.

The OHCA, which oversees Medicaid in Oklahoma, would be directed to negotiate a federal waiver for the program that would allow it to receive enhanced federal Medicaid funds, but House author Rep. Doug Cox stressed the program is not a simple expansion of Medicaid authorized under the federal health care law.

“You don’t have to be working or looking for a job to be on Medicaid,” said Cox, an emergency room physician from Grove. “I could never get anything passed up here that has anything to do with Medicaid expansion or Obamacare. This is specifically crafted to be different.”

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin rejected the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion last November but has since been looking for other ways to extend health coverage to uninsured Oklahomans. At Fallin’s direction, the OHCA approved a $500,000 contract with Utah-based Leavitt Partners in January to look at some of the state’s other options.

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said that while the governor has not personally reviewed the plan being developed by the Legislature, her Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger and Secretary of Health Terry Cline both have had conversations with legislators about the proposal.

“Clearly if it does get passed in the House and Senate and sent to the governor’s office, it is something that the governor would review carefully. But without the details of the plan, we can’t commit to supporting it,” Weintz said. “We do know that the plan was shared with Leavitt Partners, and that will be one of the options that group is sifting through before they make their recommendations to the Legislature and the governor.”

Cox said he has submitted the plan to House leadership for consideration, and the Senate author, Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, said he has requested that President Pro Tem Brian Bingman be a member of the conference committee that helps work out the details of the final bill.

According to OHCA estimates, about 17 percent of Oklahoma’s population, or 630,000 people, have no health insurance.

 

1
Text Only
Featured Story
  • CUELLARJD_5 copy.jpg ‘Worst in memory’: Enid police arrest man charged with beating woman, 9 felonies

    Becerra Jose D. Jesus Cuellar is accused of beating, torching and pointing a gun at the head of his girlfriend, at times in front of their children, between Saturday and Monday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma Bombing Vide_Hass.jpg Man claims tampering in case over bombing videos

    Trentadue says the agency is refusing to release videos that show a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and detonated a bomb that killed 168 people. The government says McVeigh was alone.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • flood watch.tiff UPDATED: Garfield County under flash flood watch

    Rainfall chances start in earnest tonight, with an 80 percent chance after 2 a.m. that increases to 90 percent Wednesday and Wednesday night. Flooding in streets, ditches and low-lying areas could be possible.

    July 29, 2014 7 Photos

  • storm_W.jpg Storm victims face dilemma: accept loans or reject them

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Quilts_4_BH_W.jpg History of an art form

    Woven amongst the fabric, patterns and stitches in the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center’s newest special exhibit are stories of past generations.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Academy.jpg State prisons expand their reach to train new officers

    On a recent day, a class in the McAlester program was filled with the sounds of bodies thudding onto thick, rainbow-colored pads held together by duct tape, along with heavy breathing and tapping as cadets indicated they’d successfully been subdued.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • FortStillFacility.jpg FBI: No arrests yet in scam targeting migrant kids

    Con artists use private information about the children to contact their family members and demand payment for bogus processing and travel expenses needed to reunite the kids with their relatives. Families with migrants in Texas and Oklahoma have been targeted.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • Child Tax Credit_Hass.jpg House votes to boost child tax credit for some

    With nearly all Republicans voting in favor and most Democrats opposed, the bill cleared the House by a vote of 237-173. The White House threatened to veto the bill, though the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to pass it.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Oil-Covered Owls_1_JN.jpg Caretaker: One of 2 oil-covered owls has died

    Jean Neal and her husband, Jim, of Fairview, have been caring for the owls since Tuesday, July 22, 2014, when they received them from Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, which is investigating the incident and the death of several other birds found at a neglected oil field tank site.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Virginia Storm_Hass.jpg 2 dead, dozens hurt after storm at Va. campground

    "All hell broke loose. We got an emergency message on a cellphone and within 30 seconds, the thing hit and it blew down 40, 50 trees in the park." — Joe Colony, who has been coming to the campground for 30 years

    July 24, 2014 7 Photos

Featured Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
House Ads
Facebook