Questions linger about Medicaid expansion after Supreme Court ruling

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There are still questions on who will administer Medicaid expansion after the Supreme Court ruled against the governor’s plan to privatize it.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority says they still have to analyze the ruling before they know what comes next.

Last year, Oklahomans voted to expand Medicaid. At this point, nearly 52,000 people have applied for SoonerCare.

The state already covers a million people on Medicaid, and the 200,000 that are expected to sign up with the expansion would’ve been managed by private companies.

“This decision shouldn’t affect Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma,” Dr. George Monks with the Oklahoma State Medical Association said. “The current system in place will move forward, which actually is a very efficient, very well run system. It’s about Oklahomans taking care of Oklahomans, which is what we want.”

“This expansion population would just be taken on by the state program, so, there shouldn’t be any disruption in service,” Rep. Forrest Bennett, D-OKC, said. “There are less barriers between people and the services they need.”

“Adding 200,000 to a million is not like adding a million to 200,000,” Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, said.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were opposed to outsourcing under the privatized Mediacid plan. Some say expanding the state’s system would be a good idea.

OHCA says under managed care, they would’ve been able to add new benefits like transportation to appointments and a Weight Watchers plan, something SoonerCare doesn’t provide.

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Gov. Kevin Stitt’s office released the following statement:

“The Supreme Court’s ruling will unnecessarily delay Oklahoma’s efforts to improve health outcomes through managed care, which the Legislature confirmed is the right path forward for our state through Senate Bill 131. I will continue to work with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to determine the next steps in the process.”

GOV. KEVIN STITT’S OFFICE

OHCA says they can’t answer whether more jobs will be created to administer SoonerCare. 

You can apply online at MySoonerCare.org or via phone at 800-987-7767.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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