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Democrats urge Oklahoma governor to reconsider Medicaid plan

Governor Mary Fallin

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Democrats are urging Republican leaders to resurrect a Medicaid expansion plan that would infuse hundreds of millions of federal dollars into the state’s health care system.

“Each and every year because of those 655,000 uninsured Oklahomans, our state hospitals give away $600 million in uncompensated care,” Inman said.

House Democratic leader Rep. Scott Inman said Thursday he was prepared to deliver the votes of all 26 House Democrats in support of $1.50-per-pack cigarette tax to help fund the state’s portion of the plan.

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin endorsed the proposal last year, describing it as a “rebalancing” since it would shift 175,000 from Medicaid into the federal health exchange, while adding about the same number of working poor onto Medicaid.

But Fallin and other Republicans so far this year have been waiting to see what kind of health care plan Congress develops to overhaul the federal health care law.