The Norman Transcript


January 15, 2013

Matter of compassion vs. politics



The federal reimbursement for expansion of Medicaid would have been 100 percent of the cost through 2016, and then gradually decreasing to 90 percent by 2020. This means the estimated cost to Oklahoma, if 75 percent of those eligible participate (some estimate that only 57 percent will sign up), would be $27 million in 2017 and increase to $56 million by 2020. This is a do-able number. 

Oklahomans will still have to pay federal taxes and penalties for not having health care insurance. With the governor’s decision, our money will now be used to expand the program in other states while our own citizens continue to be uninsured and lack access to care. 

Presently, Oklahoma hospitals receive supplemental Medicare money, called disproportionate share (DSH) payments to offset the cost of caring for the uninsured. These payments are going to be decreased or eliminated as a way to finance the federal share of the health plan.

Since the governor chose not to participate, Oklahoma hospitals will still lose the DSH payment and not be able to recoup the loss through the Medicaid expansion. Hospitals will face closing or raising prices to those with insurance, or paying with cash to make up for this lost revenue. 

I respect Gov. Fallin’s decision, but I work on a daily basis with good people who need but cannot get access to medical care. Right or wrong, my compassionate heart overrules my political mind.

 Rep. Doug Cox M.D., R-Grove represents Delaware and Mayes County in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He is a practicing emergency room physician at Integris Grove General Hospital on Grand Lake.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014

  • We should be offended by things that matter

    Editor, The Transcript: I’m offended. Why you say? I live in the USA, in Norman — a great town. What could possibly offend me? I’ll tell you. It’s people that are offended by the most meaningless things (what to call an evergreen tree in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014