The Norman Transcript

Headlines

June 29, 2013

Consultant says state could save $400 million by expanding health coverage to low-income residents

NORMAN — State government could expand health coverage to 200,000 or more lower-income residents and save itself more than $400 million over 10 years by developing a model program relying mainly on private insurers and federal subsidies.

Those are among the key findings of Leavitt Partners, a Utah-based consulting firm hired by the state to explore alternatives to the Obama administration’s proposed Medicaid expansion, which Gov. Mary Fallin has rejected.

“It’s a very Oklahoma approach … leveraging (federal) funds to develop a program that best meets the needs of your state,” said Laura Summers, director of state intelligence for Leavitt Partners.

Leavitt’s recommendations, presented Thursday to the

Oklahoma Health Care Authority, might provide Fallin with a way to expand health-care coverage for the poor without appearing to reverse her earlier decision to forego the Obama plan.

Alex Weintz, press secretary for Fallin, said the governor would review the Leavitt proposal with legislative leaders “to explore where consensus can be found and how the state can best move forward.”

The Leavitt group gave high marks to the state’s existing Medicaid program for the poor, called SoonerCare, which it said “provides good health care coverage to approximately one quarter of Oklahoma’s population.”

Nearly 1 million Oklahomans are enrolled in SoonerCare. But it is not open to working-age adults with no dependent children, and its income limits for parents are considerably lower than those proposed by the Obama administration.

The state oversees another program called Insure Oklahoma, which helps provide health coverage to about 30,000 state residents by combining federal, state, employer and participant contributions.

The future of Insure Oklahoma is in doubt because the federal government has refused to continue funding it as currently structured. Unless the state can obtain a waiver, which so far it has been unable to do, Insure Oklahoma will be terminated on Dec. 31.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • India landslide kills 21

    NEW DELHI — Rescuers worked in rain today to dig through a remote village in western India where at least 21 people died as a landslide swept away scores of houses, possibly trapping many more people under debris, officials said....

    July 31, 2014

  • Israeli strike hits UN school

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells tore through the walls of a U.N. school crowded with sleeping war refugees and back-to-back explosions rocked a market filled with shoppers Wednesday as Israel’s stepped up campaign against ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Busted water main dumps 20 million gallons of water into UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and adjacent garage

    LOS ANGELES — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities ...

    July 31, 2014

  • GOP-led House gives go-ahead for suit

    WASHINGTON — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Just a day before ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014