The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 17, 2013

Medicaid expansion support still growing

NORMAN — As the state continues to look into ways to provide health care coverage to low income persons, two more respected voices have joined the chorus to expand access to Medicaid for eligible Oklahomans.

The former director of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority told an Oklahoma City newspaper he supports Medicaid expansion in the state. Additionally, Dr. Michael Crutcher, formerly a state health commissioner and now medical quality director at Variety Care, said providing the care was a “moral and ethical issue.”

It’s also an economic issue. Health care providers, mostly hospital emergency rooms, will continue to be expected to provide care for all Oklahomans after the mandate kicks in. Those costs will continue to be passed on to customers with private health insurance.

It’s estimated state hospitals stand to lose $2.9 billion if the state does not expand Medicaid eligiblity. One in five Oklahomans lacks health insurance.

The federal Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court this past year. The same court gave states the option on expanding Medicaid. Several governors have reversed their decision on expanding Medicaid rolls but Oklahoma’s Gov. Mary Falllin has refused to budge. Her rationale is that it will cost the state money it doesn’t have and the promise of continued federal dollars is not absolute.

Legislators estimate expanding the rolls would bring about $8.2 billion in federal dollars to the state over the next decade. That money could keep a lot of rural hospital doors open.

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

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014

  • Noting a life well lived

    James Garner never intended to be a movie and television star. He just kind of lucked into it, he would tell those who asked. If you have the itch to act, get a good-paying job and spend your free time at your local community theater, he ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Recount that really matters

    Americans have been hearing a lot about Congressional elections, but there’s another one halfway around the globe that will matter far more....

    July 22, 2014

  • Runoffs get no respect

    The Aug. 26 Republican runoff election for the Cleveland County District 3 commissioner post is one of only 18 races on ballots around the state. Only two races are statewide — the Democrat contests for U.S. Senator nominee and state ...

    July 22, 2014