The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 14, 2012

Health board resignationshould send a message

NORMAN — The resignation of the Oklahoma Board of Health policy committee chairman over the governor’s rejection of federal Medicaid dollars should send a message.

Dr. Glenn Davis, a dentist from Gov. Fallin’s home county, resigned over the decision to reject expanding health care to about 450,000 Oklahomans. He said he didn’t want to be a “rubber stamp” for the status quo in this political environment.

The federal government would have paid 100 percent of the costs for the first three years and slightly less in the succeeding four years. Independent policy analysts say the state would receive an estimated $13.4 billion in federal funds in exchange for the state’s $789 million contribution over the next seven years.

Oklahomans will continue to need health care treatment. They’ll also pay the same amount of taxes to the benefit of other states. Providers like rural hospitals that count on Medicaid money will be counted on to continue to deliver even more uncompensated care as long as they can stay open.

Hospitals and low-income patients are the real losers here. Dr. Davis’ resignation message speaks volumes but we’re not sure it’s being received.

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