The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 28, 2012

Medicaid rolls will grow, even without state’s OK

NORMAN — Even though Oklahoma has rejected federal money to set up an insurance exchange and expansion of its Medicaid rolls, the state will likely still face an increase in health care costs.

A bipartisan report suggests people eligible for Medicaid but not currently signed up will enroll as the 2014 deadline for insurance approaches. By then, most Americans not eligible for Medicaid will be required to carry private health insurance or face a fine.

The study, by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute, said adding 20 million more low-income Americans to Medicaid rolls will cost about $1 trillion over the next decade, but the states’ share amounts to about $76 billion, about 7 percent of the total.

Oklahoma estimates that the new health care mandates will allow an additional 200,000 uninsured Oklahomans to join the Medicaid rolls. These are individuals who hospitals and charity clinics now treat while receiving no reimbursement. The law allows persons up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line to be covered under Medicaid.

Expanding the rolls would help health care providers recover some of their costs. It would also make up for some of the cuts being made to Medicare reimbursement to pay for the expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Oklahoma hospitals anticipate a $1.6 billion reduction in Medicare payments through 2020 and beyond. Oklahoma hospitals provided nearly $600 million in uncompensated care last year. The lack of reimbursement means more costs will be shifted to insured patients.

The state’s refusal to expand Medicaid means Oklahoma hospitals and other providers will receive fewer reimbursement dollars while other states are able to expand their coverage.

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

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • 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

  • Change some lines

    Editor, The Transcript: Looking at how our elected Republican friends are reacting to the refugee children crossing the border and now being housed in Lawton, I have a suggestion. Let’s edit the Christian Bible in several places to reflect ...

    July 21, 2014

  • New health care system demonized

    To the Editor: In October 2013, soon after we were asked to take over management responsibilities at our family business, we were visited by the company’s health insurance agent. She explained that a decision needed to be made regarding ...

    July 21, 2014

  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • The longer the wait, the higher the cost

    Editor, The Transcript: Thanks for the great article of July 3 on the Norman chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby group that recently went to D.C. as citizen lobbyists, working to get a revenue-neutral carbon pollution fee, refunded in ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014