The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 20, 2014

Necessary services may be reduced

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

There were criticisms of the Oklahoma Senate bill for a test project to privatize management of Medicaid; however, no one mentioned a critical issue of reduced services for the more needy of our society.

Privatization of services usually results in reduced services for those it is to help. Pitch Magazine of Kansas City pointed out what is wrong with using a for-profit group to dispense aid to the most vulnerable.

Critics of this program say there is no way this program can save the $1 billion claim over five years without cutting Medicaid services and that this is already happening.

Oklahoma’s earlier experiment with privatization of Medicaid capitated managed care was a disaster. The only ones gaining from this were the many health professionals who enriched themselves from numerous patients by using physician assistants and nurses to give limited care. Even without privatization, this can still happen as is shown by a recent report showing 35 doctors in Oklahoma made over $1 million each from Medicare in 2012.

Privatizing efforts of VA services have been shown, by reports, to provide poorer support for veterans. VoteVets.org Chairman Jon Soltz, an Iraq war veteran and his organization have come out strongly against privatization of any veterans’ services and I agree with him. I am a disabled Korean combat veteran and get my medical support from the VA. I believe privatization would give me poorer support.

Privatizing any services usually results in poorer services and enriches numerous groups, mainly shareholders and company executives, but not the original beneficiary nor the taxpayer. Politicians are usually only repaying what they owe private organizations by proposing to privatize services for the veterans, the old, and children.

EDWARD V. HARRIS

Hugo

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