The Norman Transcript

Headlines

January 13, 2013

Looking for new options

OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to reject a Medicaid expansion that would have made health coverage available to roughly 200,000 uninsured low-income, working class Oklahomans has left health officials scrambling to come up with alternative ways to make health care available to this population.

Although no concrete proposals have been developed, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority on Thursday approved a $500,000 sole-source contract with Utah-based health consultant Leavitt Partners to develop ways to target the nearly 20 percent of Oklahoma’s population that have no health insurance. The contract is expected to begin on Feb. 1, and OHCA officials say they hope the group can develop recommendations the Legislature will be able to enact before the session concludes at the end of May.

Fallin drew praise from tea party groups and conservative lawmakers when she announced in November that Oklahoma would reject the Medicaid expansion allowed under President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care law, citing the costs to both the state and federal government. The expansion would have allowed Oklahomans earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $30,000 for a family of four, to be eligible. Under current law, only children in families earning up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level are Medicaid eligible. For adults, the eligibility level is 37 percent of federal poverty.

But her decision was criticized by hospital and other health officials who contend the costs of caring for Oklahoma’s uninsured already is falling on hospitals in the form of uncompensated care and leading to higher health care costs for the insured.

The governor has said she supports an “Oklahoma-based solution” to address the problem of Oklahoma’s uninsured, and her Secretary of Health Terry Cline said he expects to work with Leavitt Partners and other health industry stakeholders to focus on improving the health of Oklahomans rather than just expanding coverage.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Human Rights Artist, activist-in-residence uses art to enlighten society

    La Puerta del Mileno, the Millennium Door, attempts to beckon travelers into the city walls of Ciudad Juarez, but the steel beams are abruptly interrupted as they reach for the sky by the eye of a child who sees the underlying message: the ...

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Oklahoma Water Resources Board grants Norman low-interest loan for facility upgrade

    Norman has been authorized for a $50.3 million loan from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to fund Phase 2 of the Norman Water Reclamation Facility upgrade. “It’s the single largest loan OWRB has made,” Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said. ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s superintendent attracts opponents

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The field of candidates running for state school superintendent is unusually large — a sign of broad interest in what observers say is sure to be a referendum on the incumbent, Dr. Janet Barresi....

    April 17, 2014

  • Women leaders announced

    The Norman Chamber announced the nominees for the 2014 Women’s Leadership Award, which honors female leaders who actively inspire other women to achieve their full potential.  Past recipients of this honor, formerly known as the ATHENA ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Organizers confident of safe race

    BOSTON — The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week....

    April 17, 2014

  • Ducks Unlimited night set

    Cleveland County’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited will host its annual “Sportsman Night” at 6 p.m. April 25 at the Optimist Club Gym in Norman....

    April 17, 2014

  • Record number of NPS students selected for Duke program

    A record number of Norman Public Schools seventh-graders have been selected for Duke University’s Talent Identification Search for State and National Recognition. Fifty-one students were identified via a competitive testing process for ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Fed says no to business help

    LEXINGTON — The federal government has turned down the state’s request for an economic injury declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration following the Jan. 31 closure of the Lexington-Purcell bridge over the Canadian River....

    April 17, 2014

  • History group to host local book signing event

    Mae Davenport Cox will sign copies of “Red Dirt, River and Rails: Early-Day Settlers to Southern Cleveland County” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Lexington Senior Citizen Center during ‘89er Day festivities....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU Staff Week to include daily activities

    The University of Oklahoma Norman campus Staff Week, set April 21-25, will feature many activities. The theme is “OU Staff: The Real Superheroes.” Donations of canned food for Food and Shelter may be brought to all activities except the ...

    April 17, 2014